Eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing or just EMDR is a therapeutic technique developed by Francine Shapiro. One day when she was walking in the park and feeling down and stressed out she noticed that walking was helping her feel better. Instead of simply putting it down to being outside in the fresh air she started thinking about the connection between mental state and bilateral stimulation i.e. the fact that walking stimulates one side of the body at the time. She started experimenting with eye movements, asking patients to move their eyes to the left and right whilst thinking about stressful events. It turned out it had massive benefits and was really helpful in helping people overcome traumatic experiences because it did not involve simply talking about it. We are still not quite sure why it works but there has been loads of research confirming that it is effective and it is recommended by NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence) as a therapy for PTSD.

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