EMDR is designed to help the brain unlock traumatic memories and reprocess them into more positive thoughts. During a session, the client may be asked to focus on a memory while stimulation is used such as eye movements, tapping or sounds. After each association is processed, the “bilateral” stimulation continues until the original issue is no longer disturbing.
EMDR is offered sparingly across the VA system, but access depends on resources available at a local facility, said Paula Schnurr, executive director of the VA’s National Center for PTSD in White River Junction, Vt.
“There’s a good body of evidence that EMDR is effective,” Schnurr said.