EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is one of most heavily researched treatments for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). In addition to helping people recover from traumatic or stressful events, EMDR can be helpful in treating anxiety, guilt, anger, problems with self-esteem, and performance enhancement.
EMDR is based on the idea that each person has an intrinsic capacity to heal but, when a person experiences a traumatic or painful experience, it seems to get "frozen" in the mind and body. When this happens and the person's system has not "processed" the experience, aspects of the trauma or painful experience can resurface or cause us to get "stuck" in our lives. Intrusive thoughts and/or memories, nightmares, and panic attacks are examples of the ways in which trauma can resurface.
Other painful experiences, such as being teased in 3rd grade or the loss of a relationship (not always perceived as big "traumas") can affect individuals as well. One may just seem to find themselves falling into the same old negative patterns that are somehow linked to painful experiences from the past. These "stuck" patterns can prevent one from moving forward and achieving life goals. Participating in EMDR seems to help people face and desensitize these experiences in a safe setting, to learn from them ("reprocessing"), and to move on.
More information on EMDR can be found at: