In ’96 I received a book in the mail (I think it was in a list of counseling books as I was a member of some counseling book club then, being a professional counselor at one time and for a brief period a Licensed Professional Counselor) on the subject of EDM or Eye Desensitization Movement. the author had been a Professor of English at some university and had come near to dying of cancer. During the course of recovery, the was walking across the campus looking at the beautiful flowers on either side of the walk, while thinking about a particularly bothersome problem. At the end of the walk, her problem was resolved, if my memory serves me correctly. She thought that was unusual and associated the resolution with the eye movement. As a result she went back to school and earned a Ph.D. in Psychology. Then she published a book on the subject and within a few years her method became a number one treatment with the VA for veterans from the battlefield, suffering from PTSD.
I think I skim read about 30 pages of the book and it got stuck in a truck in storage for seven years. Shortly before that period ended, our son who had begun pastoring sent me a client who need counseling. I listened to her presentation of her problems, something that seemed to be quite traumatic, and the thought came to my mind that I should use the method to help her which I did. The results were startling to say the least. Later on, my son and I attended a continuing education class, where a professor from Canada poured cold water on the idea and the method. So we thought it might well be wanting.
After seven years we moved closer to our children and I acquired a pretty good computer and found that the lady had established an institute and that there were trainers who provided guidance and training in the practice of EDM along with certification. Shortly after, I referred a woman with a child who had been adopted from another country and who had suffered sexual abuse to look for a Christian woman counselor certified in EDM. She did, and she was well-pleased with the result.
Then I told a friend about the matter, and he, a Cognitive Psychologist, teaching in a community college, began to get questions from some of his students about the method. I know of others who have received the treatment and have found the results helpful. I would not want anyone to think that I look on EDM as a panacea. My training is in eclectic psychotherapy which advocates being acquainted with a plethora of schools, movements, therapies, and techniques which the counselor can weave into a personalized treatment for the individual client. The point of the blog is to arouse interest to the point where the reader will google EDM or Eye Desensitization Movement, read the materials and see if it can be helpful to him or her or to a counselee in need of something more than talk, drug, or other therapies that might or might not be helpful. The EDM seems to imply that trauma makes some kind of impression on the nervous system of the individual, and EDM apparently provides some sort of deprogramming or ease of the stress caused by such traumatic events. I do know that it was quite startling to see how the pressure was taken off of my client. However, in the interest of avoiding the panacea or placebo factor, I recommend the method in conjunction with other techniques which the counselor might find helpful in dealing with the presenting problem.