Eye Movement Technique (EMT)

Eye Movement Technique (EMT) which was developed by Fred Friedberg PhD is a simplified approach to Eye Movement Therapy and the great advantage is that it can be taught to clients so that they can help themselves.  The full EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing) protocol was developed originally by Dr Francine Shapiro, a clinical psychologist, and has been hailed as a breakthrough treatment for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD.  When Friedberg derived EMT from EMDR he broadened the application from traumatic memories to almost any kind of emotional distress.  His simple EMT protocol has been found to reduce stress rapidly which makes it a highly useful tool because stress is such a major contributory factor to many client issues such as anxiety, phobias, panic attacks, migraine, hypertension etc.  

One progression (perhaps surprising especially given the name Eye Movement Therapy) is that Friedberg suggests the use of oscillatory eye movements be abandoned, and replaced instead by finger movements. His preference is to use a distractive flip-flop bimanual tapping on clients’ hands or shoulders whilst having them silently ponder over a stressful issue. As such it might be more appropriate to think of it as a bilateral tapping therapy. EMT seems to be a good vehicle in actively disrupting the recurrent negative “mind-chatter” that is very familiar to the sufferer of emotional stress. As such it can prove to be a catalyst for change without the need for complex analysis.

I find it works very well when used as part of a comprehensive programme along with hypnotherapy, counselling and various psychotherapeutic techniques which are tailored to the needs of the individual client.  Because it can be quickly taught it is another useful self-help technique, along with self-hypnosis and EFT, that clients can use between sessions and encourages them to be actively involved in their own healing process or in changing their behaviour patterns.