Hailed as the most important method to emerge in psychotherapy in decades, EMDR has successfully treated psychological problems and illnesses in more than one million sufferers worldwide, with a rapidity that defies belief. In a new introduction, Shapiro presents the new applications of this remarkable therapy and the latest scientific research that demonstrates its efficacy.
EMDR, or eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, is a new, nontraditional, very short-term therapy for treating trauma victims that utilizes rhythmical stimulation such as eye movements or hand taps. Shapiro, a clinical psychologist and fellow at the Mental Research Institute in Palo Alto, Calif., who developed the approach, reports cases in which as few as three 90-minute EMDR sessions have relieved patients' disabling anxiety. Explaining how she developed the technique in 1987, Shapiro describes the treatment, theorizes about why it works and cites supporting research. She suggests that the rhythmical stimulation inherent in the process jump starts and accelerates the brain's information processing system to enable the victims to begin to process the traumatic experiences in which they have been stuck so that natural healing can begin. Writer Forrest presents gripping case studies from numerous EMDR-trained therapists to demonstrate the effectiveness of the technique--among others, a Vietnam veteran with post-traumatic stress, a child with night terrors, a rape victim and a mother still nearly paralyzed with grief a year after her son's death. Other studies report success helping drug addicts and the terminally ill.