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Taking a Closer Look

Can moving your eyes back and forth help to ease anxiety?
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MORE THAN 500 brands of psychotherapy exist, with new ones springing up on a nearly monthly basis. Although a handful of these neophyte treatments have been tested in scientific studies, it is anybody's guess whether the others actually work.

Over the past 15 years or so, one of these new kids on the therapy block has stood out from the pack for the remarkable attention it has received from the media, practitioners and mental health consumers. This treatment carries a mouthful of a label: “eye movement desensitization and reprocessing,” and it has made an impressive splash on the psychotherapy scene. Not surprisingly, most therapists refer to it simply as “EMDR,” and we'll do the same here.

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