I'm considering EMDR therapy. I'm really scared because my CSA involved hypnosis. Is this like hypnosis? Is it even effective. The therapist I plan to use is experienced with it.

I am a strong advocate for EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. Explained on the international website at http://www.emdr.com/general-information/what-is-emdr/what-is-emdr.html, EMDR "is a comprehensive, integrative psychotherapy approach. It contains elements of many effective psychotherapies in structured protocols that are designed to maximize treatment effects. These include psychodynamic, cognitive behavioral, interpersonal, experiential, and body-centered therapies."

I use it with my clients in recovery with various trauma histories.

EMDR is not hypnosis at all as you remain in a conscious state during the entire process. Hypnosis puts you in an altered state of consciousness.

What I have watched happen with my clients receiving EMDR is that they have been able to discharge buried emotions and perspectives about their abuse. Often I watch people see themselves seperate from the abuse and recognize from a different perspective that what happened to them was not their fault and they can unblock negative thoughts which kept them from healing.

Like any other therapeutic intervention, it is not the only form of treatment which is used to help clients. However, it is an over twenty year old intervention which has much research and science supporting its efficacy.

I highly recommend it with a trained EMDR therapist.

Featured Ph.D. Columnist