EMDR is a form of psychotherapy that was developed to resolve symptoms resulting from disturbing and unresolved life experiences. It uses a structured approach to address past, present, and future aspects of disturbing memories. It is an integrative therapy, synthesizing elements of many traditional psychological orientations, such as psychodynamic, cognitive, behavioral, experiential, physiological, and interpersonal therapies.
The approach was developed by Dr. Francine Shapiro to resolve the development of trauma-related disorders as resulting from exposure to a traumatic or distressing event, such as rape, natural disaster, or childhood trauma. Since Dr. Francine Shapiro introduced EMDR to the clinical community in 1989, the last 25 years have seen a phenomenal research on the effectiveness of this therapy. Today, EMDR is accepted as a valid method of treatment for PTSD by the American Psychological Association and the American Psychiatric Association. And widely used in USA, Europe and many parts of Asia. EMDR therapy is recommended for children, adolescents and adults with PTSD by World Health Organization (W.H.O.), 2013.
WHERE ONE CAN USE EMDR
The EMDR psychotherapy can be used for children and adults for behavioral, adjustment, interpersonal and emotional problems besides extreme traumatic experience resulting from natural and man-made disasters. A clinical background is necessary for proper application of the EMDR psychotherapy. This is a highly specialized therapy that requires supervised training for therapeutic effectiveness and client safety.
EXPERIENCE ABOUT EMDR IN INDIA
With the help of EMDR Humanitarian Assistance Program (HAP) USA and EMDR International Association over 300 mental health professionals have been trained in Mumbai, Pune, Delhi, Banglore, Chennai, Srinagar, Varanasi and other parts of India EMDR therapists reached out to earthquake survivors of Gujarat in 2001 and in the southern part of India after 2004 Tsunami, thus helping 16,000 children. Currently several psychotherapists are practicing EMDR in various parts of India and forthcoming trainings will provide opportunity to the mental health professionals with psychology, social work and psychiatry background to learn hands-on EMDR therapy.
EMDR Association has been involved in healing up to 3500 children traumatized due to floods in Srinagar, Kashmir after September 2014. EMDR Association, in collaboration with Dara Shikoh Centre conducted training for mental health professionals of Kashmir and 13 EMDR practitioners from Mumbai, Delhi and Varanasi stepped in for a month long intervention using group protocols of EMDR therapy in schools. . During 2016, EMDR Association collaborated with Trauma Recovery/HAP, USA, Transcultural Psychosocial Organization Nepal (TPO Nepal) and WHO, Nepal and conducted EMDR Part1 training in Kathmandu. EMDR Association extends EMDR basic trainings to other Asian countries e.g. Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Philippines, Nepal and some international trainees too attend the training conducted in India.
EMDR is successfully used after man-made and natural disaster where long drawn psychological residues are left, not easily dealt even after passing of time. Traumatic memories can affect people of all ages directly or indirectly. A team of EMDR clinicians can work in the disaster sites on consecutive days, in different settings and even under unstable conditions. EMDR interventions are high standard psychological aid to deal with psychosocial consequence. EMDR can be used early in the first stage, after some weeks and months and even after some years, if the population had not been reached before. Regarding crisis interventions with EMDR in schools, this can be structured for individual as well as for group intervention involving school authorities, teachers, parents, education department and NGOs working with children in different settings.
Eminent practitioners from United States and Europe, including specialists from Trauma recovery/HAP, have been supporting the Indian professionals from 1998 by providing training and supervision for EMDR psychotherapy.
EMDR Association is registered in India (Registered under Society Registration Act, Maharashtra State, India and Registration No.1768). Trauma Recovery/EMDR Humanitarian Assistance Programs USA supports the EMDR Association of India in its bid to become an organized independent body that can conduct trainings, workshops, seminars and conferences in India and other parts of Asia to share knowledge and skills among mental health professionals and to undertake humanitarian activities to address psychological trauma.