EMDR may seem complex, but its name accurately sums up the actions that take place in sessions.
Eye movement: The eyes move back and forth to create “bilateral stimulation.” This stimulates both hemispheres of the brain, encouraging the amygdala, hippocampus, and prefrontal cortex to work together.
Desensitization: The patient is repeatedly asked how they feel about the traumatic event, now that both hemispheres of the brain have been activated. This continues until the memory does not upset or disturb the patient.
Reprocessing: A positive belief is given to the patient at this stage. The bilateral stimulation helps the patient to incorporate the new belief into their understanding of the event, which allows them to perceive it differently. This is called reprocessing.