I recently got an email from the EMDR institute linking to an article on Scientific American. The article cites two studies demonstrating the importance of eye movements in EMDR. The email was timely as I recently wrote an article about EMDR a few weeks ago.
From the article (citing Chris Lee, Murdoch University)
“Our experiments clearly show that negative autobiographical memories are very rich in sensory detail, and by pairing them with eye movements, they lose this sensory richness,” Lee says. “People describe that the memories become less vivid and more distant, that they seem further in the past and harder to focus on. What follows after this distancing is a reduction in the associated emotional levels.” In other words, the traumatic memory stays, but its power has been diminished.”
Although the article is dated, I’m glad I finally got to it…or rather it to me. Granted, the conclusion at the end of the article is not tied to the research highlighted in the article; it is a theory (which is different than a guess) based on other research that seeks to explain why eye movements make a difference.