EMDR is a psychotherapy treatment developed by Dr. Francine Shapiro that enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing life experiences. Repeated studies show that by using EMDR, people can experience the benefits of psychotherapy that once took years to make a difference.
During EMDR, a client brings to mind past and present experiences in brief, sequential doses while focusing on an external stimulus such as a moving light, finger, or sound in order to activate the two hemispheres of the brain. The client is then instructed to let new material (thoughts) arise and become the focus of the next set of stimuli. This dual attention (and the personal association that results) is repeated several times slowly until the client is fully comfortable and begins to feel differently.
EMDR offers a new lease on life to many people who have all but given up hope, who've told themselves that they'll never be able to move beyond the past and into a pain-free, mentally healthy future. The results are often astounding, on the personal and on the scientific levels. We still have a great deal to learn about how and why EMDR works, but it does. But what we do know is that every day qualified therapists use it to help individuals transform their own lives and the relationships that radiate out from that starting place.
This film traces the history, practice, and potential of EMDR set against the backdrop of everyday people put through extraordinary, sometimes nearly incomprehensible stress.