EMOTIONAL HEALING AT WARP SPEED: The Power of EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing)
Crediting Francine Shapiro with originating the technique just 13 years ago, Long Island psychotherapist Grand explains eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy for a popular audience. With 40,000 trained practitioners, this recent addition to the therapeutic arsenal has tremendous potential, he argues, for healing the effects of trauma, relieving depression, enhancing creativity and performance and improving studying and test taking. Focusing on a "target image" associated with a traumatic memory, the patient is led through a step-by-step process of recalling scenes, emotions and physical sensations while receiving "bilateral stimulation" through guided eye movements, alternating sounds in headphones or alternately receiving squeezes, massaging rubs or taps on the left and right sides of the body. According to Grand, one-time traumas (car accidents, bombings, hurricanes) can be released in one session, even in a few minutes, while deeper disturbances (repeated child abuse, war experiences) may take longer and may involve additional methods of therapy. He provides compelling anecdotal evidence of EMDR's effectiveness with train engineers traumatized by suicides and accidents on the tracks; survivors of the Oklahoma City bombing and Florida's Hurricane Andrew; mothers of slain children in Brooklyn; residents of Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Israel and the occupied territories; survivors of child abuse; and professional actors and athletes. While many readers may still find it doubtful that any one therapy could work on all patients, especially in such rapid time, Grand presents an intriguing case for his approach. (Aug. 21)
Forecast:The claim of "warp speed" healing will attract deserved media scrutiny, while Grand's passion for his subject will help sell the book.