Trauma is an emotional response to a disturbing life event that is beyond a person’s natural ability to process. It can be a major event like an accident, an assault, a natural disaster, or the death of a loved one. Trauma can also include less dramatic experiences that might have occurred during a person’s childhood but still overwhelmed the brain’s capacity to adaptively process the memory. When traumatic events overwhelm the brain’s processing system, the memory becomes stored in a way that retains negative emotions, beliefs, and physical sensations.
EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is an evidence-based therapy that accesses the brain’s natural ability to adaptively process and store information from traumatic memories. When a memory is reprocessed and adaptively stored, the level of disturbance from the negative beliefs, emotions, and sensations is reduced.
For more information see this article on EMDR by Francine Shapiro:
or read the book: Getting Past Your Past by Francine Shapiro.