EMDR/ Eye Movement Integration
Eye Movement Integration: “. . . Kindler, Gentler, and More Effective than EMDR”
You don’t have to let bad experiences and memories drive your behavior or fill your life with anxiety. That might seem like a bold statement, but clients say EMI works like “magic” with their traumatic memories and with the “normal,” forgotten, and seemingly unrelated memories that nonetheless affect our lives.
While EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) might be the best known therapeutic approach to “untying” memories from emotions, EMI has been described as “NLP’s kinder, gentler, more rapid and effective version of EMDR.”
Considering EMDR? Consider EMI Instead.
EMI and EMDR both evolved from NLP (neurolinguistic programming). Eye Movement Integration was first introduced by Robert Dilts in 1981 as “Eye Movement Pattern Interruption Therapy.” Robert studied with, and modeled the therapeutic approaches of Milton H. Erickson, M.D., in the late 1970s.
The term Eye Movement Integration was coined by Steve Andreas, M.S., and developed by Steve and Connirae Andreas.. EMI is used by thousands of therapists world-wide.
Unlike other methods, EMI is considerate of the client’s integrity and does not require regression. It’s designed to avoid the concerns of false memory and/or the possibility of re-traumatizing the client. In Eye Movement Integration Therapy: The Comprehensive Clinical Guide, Danie Beaulieu, Ph.D., states that EMI “ . . . does not extinguish the memory of what happened, but it does strip off the emotional charge that [ . . . causes ] the problems.”
To read what Dr. Randi Fredricks, Ph.D. writes about the relationship between EMI and EMDR, click here:
“Eye Movement Integration™ (EMI) is a brief therapy technique that is effective in treating acute and post-traumatic stress, but also phobias, the symptoms associated with addictions and negative or self-limiting thoughts. I have been using this technique in my counseling work with clients for ten years – ever since I first saw it demonstrated by Ron Klein of the American Hypnosis Training Academy (AHTA).”
– Mike Deninger, PhD, LPC
Everybody’s had Experiences that Affect Their Day-to-Day Behavior, Whether They Remember Them or Not
If you’ve had a “major” trauma, you know how these experiences can affect you – although you might not know all of it. What surprises clients is when they realize how often “normal,” forgotten, and/or seemingly unrelated memories affect their lives.
Many are from childhood, when our brains are very “plastic.” Consider some of the messages we take on and the belief systems we develop from:
- being yelled at (“I’m not good enough”)
- parents’ stories and behavior (“You can’t trust people.”)
- loss (“If I get attached, I’ll get hurt.”)
- being victimized (“There’s something wrong with me”)
- old cultural values (e.g., Men who are taught to be tough; women who are taught to be nice.)
These beliefs don’t serve us well when we grow up, but they’re embedded in our brains.
Recognizing these experiences and their effects helps us understand why we do what we do, but many experts believe it takes working with the subconscious through hypnosis, EMI, and other techniques to change beliefs and behavior.
“. . . we conducted a small pilot study and found that, on average, a single treatment with EMI could reduce post traumatic stress symptoms by 48%, while a full course of treatment reduced symptoms by 83%. . . Releasing [clients] from the burden of the traumatic baggage they have carried for years never ceases to be one of my greatest professional rewards.”
– Danie Beaulieu, PhD
For More Information
To see a condensed EMI session, go to this YouTube video of Steve Andreas: “NLP Eye Movement Integration with a Vietnam Veteran (PTSD):
For a good summary of EMI, see Dr. Graham Dawes’ review of Danie Beaulieu’s book, Eye Movement Integration Therapy: the Comprehensive Clinical Guide: click here.
Certified hypnotherapist and practitioner of NLP
True Purpose Coach