Is EMDR the cure?


When Nicole, a 40-year-old teacher from Santa Barbara, began doing EMDR therapy, she had already been in regular old therapy since the age of 18. But despite years of cognitive behavioral work, she suffered an emotional breakdown at 38 and wound up at an inpatient treatment center. While being in treatment helped, what brought Nicole back to normalcy was a form of psychotherapy known as EMDR—which stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing and involves a therapist leading a patient through an eight-phase treatment, including a series of left-to-right and right-to-left eye movements, in a way that’s meant to process memories stored in the brain. Within a matter of weeks of once-a-week treatments, Nicole realized just how much her past experiences of bad romantic relationships were affecting her physically. “I realized that I was engaging in my addiction to avoid emotional pain,” she says. “When you don’t have a full self, you fill that emptiness with whatever substance you can get. Because EMDR is so focused on how trauma is stored in your body, it allowed me to experience the grieving process that I needed and let me release the negative emotions that were affecting me.”






McCarton Ackerman

Original Work Citation

Ackerman, M. (2012, July 3). Is EMDR the cure? The fix, addiction and recovery straight up. Retrieved from on July 14, 2012




“Is EMDR the cure?,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed August 6, 2020,

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