Saturday, December 27, 2008


This information is from the Wesselmann/Bruckner seminar. Blue words are mine.


  • We all have a natural information processing system through which we process emotional events on a daily basis.
  • That information processing system becomes overwhelmed and shuts down following traumatic events.
  • EMDR jump-starts the natural information processing system.
  • The bilateral stimulation (both sides of brain) may activate the same centers in the brain that are active during REM sleep.

EMDR - Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing

EMDR involves bilateral stimulation of the brain through eye movement, tactile stimulation, or auditory stimulation, while following a specific set of steps that include:

  • using the bilateral stimulation to reinforce experiences of nurturing, closeness, and emotional attunement between parent and child.
  • using the bilateral stimulation to desensitize the emotions and sensations related to traumatic memories
  • using the bilateral stimulation to change negative beliefs about parents and self to more positive beliefs

As a result EMDR can help:

1. decrease the frequency and intensity of emotional reactions to present-day trauma triggers

2. change the negative beliefs about self and others that cause acting-out behaviors and prevent health bonding.


  • Bilateral Stimulation is applied while parent cuddles child and shares nurturing messages, positive emotions, first experiences with the child, and hopes and dreams. The experiences is repeated frequently throughout.


  • Mom says no. Teacher says no.
  • Stern look on an adult's face.
  • Mom paying attention to a sibling.
  • Parents going out-of-town.
  • A holiday.
  • Homework.
  • Bedtime. Morning-time. ANYTIME!!

Negative beliefs change to the positive.

  • "My mom loves me."
  • "It's safe to ask for help."
  • "My mom wants me to be successful."
  • "I can have a good day."
  • "I'm good inside my heart."

I saw EMDR work on our youngest son Taz while combined with Attachment Therapy. It was extremely effective. I also went for EMDR to deal with traumas from my own past. I'll try to describe my own experience. I only went 4 times. It is not generally a long term treatment. I felt the trauma more deeply the first couple of times then started noticing that it was no longer bothering me until by the last time it was like the anxiety about the event was gone. In Taz I saw him start to smile sweetly and feel comfortable toward me during EMDR. One time while holding him he started lightly caressing my arm. This started carrying over at home. Amazing.


Torina said...

Interesting. We did something similar with our therapist that she called a "life narrative". I would hold Tara and do some simple tapping on her hands while looking in her eyes and retelling her beginnings how they would have happened if I had been her mommy. It kind of made her melt over time. We only did that for a handful of sessions.

Brenda said...

They often do a life narrative with EMDR. Did you tap right left right left right left? If so it was EMDR. They sometimes move their hands back and forth, sometimes use a light that flashes back and forth and sometimes tap on your hands or knees. I preferred the tapping to the eye movement. I usually shut my eyes for my own so I could really think.

Anonymous said...

I've never heard of that. It is all very interesting.