EMDR is a technique which allows us to overcome traumatic experiences. This does not mean that through this technique you will forget about the trauma, instead you will learn how to recall it without letting it affect your present moment.
Since our birth our brain is subject to constant learning (cerebral plasticity) and in time our unconscious is filled with information which will construct our psychological and emotional personality and identity. Our unconscious represent 80% of ourselves and it remembers everything that we have been living. While we are asleep, we have two phases of sleep patterns, the deep sleep (or non-REM sleep) and the REM (rapid eye movement) sleep; during this latter phase we construct our dreams in a way that our unconscious mind comes to have contact with our conscious one. While we are in our REM phase of sleep our eyes constantly move from one side to the other and this movement activates the amygdala, which is a part of the limbic lobe of our brain where our emotions reside. The amygdala sends out information to our frontal cortex where the information will be processed. Sometimes during this REM phase the emotional information sent out by the amygdala is not successfully delivered to our frontal cortex, so it stays stuck in the emotional part of the brain (amygdala) without the opportunity of being processed by the rational part (our frontal cortex). This is when an emotional experience turns into what we commonly call trauma.
EMDR uses the bilateral cerebral stimulation by means of rapid eyes movements, by tapping or by bilateral sounds emission stimulating both the left and the right cerebral hemispheres; this allows us to produce a flow of information between the two hemispheres and in this way the emotional information that was once stuck in the amygdala is given another opportunity to be consciously processed. We achieve a desensitization of the negative and inappropriate emotions by stimulating the brain in order to find out new interpretations, which are more realistic and functional to the current situation.
This technique can be applied during a standard psychotherapy or as a treatment in itself. EMDR represents an innovative and advanced technique which breaks out from the idea that psychological therapies have to be slow to be long-lasting. Different from the classic psychotherapeutic approaches in this technique there is no need to dig deep In the unconscious mind in order to achieve a visible therapeutic result with evident and long-lasting changes. The method of this treatment is evolved and has progressed since it integrates traditional methods with new ones coming from the neuropsychological field. This technique focuses directly on the problem. The point is that traumas cause the creation of dysfunctional patterns which are difficult to remove. With EMDR you find a more rapid solution to get rid of them and reach your total wellbeing.