WHAT DOES EMDR MEAN?
EMDR means Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing.
HOW DID EMDR ARISE?
It appears in 1987, by the hand of the North American psychologist Francine Shapiro, who observed by chance that eye movements under certain conditions can reduce the intensity of disturbing thoughts.
WHAT IS THE AIP MODEL?
From here, she develops the AIP Model (Adaptive Information Processing Model), which will be the theoretical basis on which the EMDR treatment is based.
This model refers to the fact that our experience is characterized by thoughts, beliefs, images, emotions and sensations. All this generates certain neural network connections, which will be part of our memory, and through which all new information that we receive will be processed.
Each experience that we live has many neural connections, generating a network that connects with Networks stored in our memory and that allows us to relate events, images, sensations, smells. This generation of neural connections is what makes memories lose intensity over time and what we do not live them in the same way as when we live them in its initial moment. This is something adaptive t olive from day to day, just as we are not able to remember absolutely everything that has happened in our life, we do not remember things with the same intensity.
When trauma occurs, these neural networks are isolated, blocked from the rest and this is what makes it impossible for the information to be processed adaptively. Both the traumatic event and new events that remind us in some way of said event, and that isolated neural network is activated through memory. It is relived with the same intensity as when the traumatic event occurred, even though years have passed.
HOW DOES THE TECHNIQUE WORK?
EMDR is a specific type of therapy, within it, one of the techniques ti uses is bilateral stimulation of the brain.
For bilateral stimulation, the therapist will move the fingers from left to right at the hight of the eyes, and the client must follow them with his gaze, in this way, the stimulation of both cerebral hemispheres will be achieved. Although this is the main technique and the first that emerged, it has been proven that there are other ways to stimulate to the brain, such as alternating sounds, or with small touches on the body, called tapping.
WHAT IS A TRAUMA?
The word trauma derives from the Greek “wound” and from there, we can say that trauma is a psychological wound.
It is usually considered a trauma, a problem of great impact, in which life is in danger, such as those caused by a natural disaster such as earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, or created by people, such as Wars, traffic accidents, abuse,… However, specialists differentiate between this type of trauma, “T” and other types of lesser trauma, but this does not mean that it is less traumatic, which we call “t”, and that they are more relational such as abandonment, a public humiliation, a change of residence, city or country, a loss of a loved one, either due to death or interruption of the relationship,… events that we all experience throughout our lives.
The extent of the causes of trauma does not determine the amount of damage it produces. The effects and consequences will depend on each person, their history and the emotional support they have, especially at the moment of the traumatic event, the vital moment in which it occurred and its repetition over time. Traumas affect physical and mental health, daily life at the family, social, work level,… and therefore, the general well-being of the person, being able to develop false and destructive beliefs about themselves and the world.
CAN IT BE APPLIED IN CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS?
The intervention protocol with children and adolescents has been adapted and drawings, sandboxes, puppets,… different ways of approaching the trauma are used, adapting it to the maturing age of the minor.
The brain of a child is in full development, and there are things that can be interpreted as threatening, such as a scene in a movie that the child lives it with fear, even if they are not, and from there arise a small trauma. It is important to correct this and for your brain to develop without those blockages in your neural network.
With the child-adolescent population, work with the family is essentials, since it is where their attachment figures will be and that is why they are fundamental in the intervention with their children and in their progress.
CAN IT BE APPLIED IN A ONE-TIME SITUATION WHEN WE ARE IN A CRISIS?
Although EMDR had previously been used in emergency situations, it has been as a result of the current pandemic that this approach has been developed much more at the individual and group level.
In times of crisis and emergencies, a specific action protocol is carried out, the objective of which is to emotionally stabilize the person, alleviate suffering, provide a simple, fast relaxation technique with immediate results so that he can continue to solve the critical moment in the one found.
It is not a therapy, but a resource that will help you cope with the present moment and that will Project you from developing trauma later. However, if after a few days, the emotional charge is still present, it is advisable to go to a professional.
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