EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) involves stimulating the left then
the right sides of the brain back and forth visually, auditorily, or kinesthetically. It can be
done by moving the eyes back and forth or in particular patterns, by listening to sounds
going back and forth from ear to ear, or by a sensation on one side of the body then the
other. It involves bi-lateral stimulation of the left and right hemispheres of the brain while
focusing on an issue you wish to improve.

Before learning EMDR I learned several other bi-lateral methods such as "Recapitulation" by
Carlos Castaneda, WAHE GURU chant with eye and breath movement learned from the
Sikhs while I was working at 3HO, and then I completed Level 1 & 2 of EMDR with Dr.
Francine Shapiro in 1994. Dr. Shapiro said she'd been told it's origin was from the Vedas
from India. I continued studying bilateral methods and have been using them on many of
my clients for many diverse issues such as weight, smoking, anger, depression, anxiety,
phobias, traumas, OCD, as well as to increase abilities and skills such as in a sport, playing
an instrument, acting, public speaking, etc.

I have been amazed at some of the results I've gotten over the years. Sometimes issues
that are not even being targeted disappear. For example, one woman who was severally
depressed, bulimic, and had been angry with her spouse for 8 years did EMDR in a morning
session with the focus on early childhood issues and a miscarriage she'd had. At one point
during the EMDR she said "I'm looking through a room, through a hallway, and in to another
room with a yellow sweater laying on a bed - what does it mean?" I said to just stay with
the image and feelings until something else came up and something did. That evening she
told me that she had a severe water phobia as far back as she could remember. She said
she had never taken a bath, had never waded in the ocean, and couldn't even shower if
the water came to her ankles. She said that 30 minutes after our session she had gotten in
to a swimming pool and played with her children for an hour and loved it. Her fears were
completely gone. She asked how that had happened as she had never even discussed
having the phobia with me. She said she also felt loving towards her husband for the first
time in 8 years. I couldn't explain how it had happened but my guess is that she had a scary
experience as a baby possibly while in water in the bathroom, looked through the hallway
to a room where she saw the yellow sweater and her connection with that image erased
her fear of water. I am just grateful that her lifelong fear of water is gone and that her
estranged relationship with her husband has been healed.
Susan Warren, MA, LPC, CHT
Tucson, Arizona 85718

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