EMDR International Association (EMDRIA, 2011) defines EMDR as follows: 

"EMDR is an evidence-based psychotherapy for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). In addition, successful outcomes are well-documented in the literature for EMDR treatment of other psychiatric disorders, mental health problems, and somatic symptoms. The model on which EMDR is based, Adaptive Information Processing (AIP), posits that much of psychopathology is due to the maladaptive encoding of and/or incomplete processing of traumatic or disturbing adverse life experiences. This impairs the client’s ability to integrate these experiences in an adaptive manner. The eight-phase, three-pronged process of EMDR facilitates the resumption of normal information processing and integration. This treatment approach, which targets past experience, current triggers, and future potential challenges, results in the alleviation of presenting symptoms, a decrease or elimination of distress from the disturbing memory, improved view of the self, relief from bodily disturbance, and resolution of present and future anticipated triggers."

Aim of EMDR

EMDR is a type of integrative psychotherapy.  It is used to treat trauma or other psychological disorders while minimizing the risk of retraumatizing.  EMDR practitioners aim to minimize risk of harm while alleviating suffering.  

EMDR Framework

EMDRIA (2011) has published this in regards to the framework of EMDR

"Through EMDR, resolution of traumatic and disturbing adverse life experiences is accomplished with a unique standardized set of procedures and clinical protocols which incorporates dual focus of attention and alternating bilateral visual, auditory and/or tactile stimulation. This process activates the components of the memory of disturbing life events and facilitates the resumption of adaptive information processing and integration. The following are some of the AIP tenets which guide the application of EMDR, i.e., planning treatment and achieving outcomes: "

 

Desired Outcomes of EMDR

"1. Adverse life experiences can generate effects similar to those of traumatic events recognized by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (APA, 2000) for the diagnosis of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and trigger or exacerbate a wide range of mental, emotional, somatic, and behavioral disorders. Under optimal conditions, new experiences tend to be assimilated by an information processing system that facilitates their linkage with already existing memory networks associated with similarly categorized experiences. The linkage of these memory networks tends to create a knowledge base regarding such phenomena as perceptions, attitudes, emotions, sensations and action tendencies. (EMDRIA, 2011)"

"2.Traumatic events and/or disturbing adverse life experiences can be encoded maladaptively in memory resulting in inadequate or impaired linkage with memory networks containing more adaptive information. Pathology is thought to result when adaptive information processing is impaired by these experiences which are inadequately processed. Information is maladaptively encoded and linked dysfunctionally within emotional, cognitive, somatosensory, and temporal systems. Memories thereby become susceptible to dysfunctional recall with respect to time, place, and context and may be experienced in fragmented form. Accordingly, new information, positive experiences and affects are unable to functionally connect with the disturbing memory. This impairment in linkage and the resultant inadequate integration contribute to a continuation of symptoms. (EMDRIA, 2011)"

What is EMDR?

EMDR