For many people who suffer from trauma and other debilitating symptoms, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) has been a helpful intervention in improving his/her symptoms. EMDR was developed by American psychologist Francine Shapiro, PhD in 1987, after she observed, during a walk in a park, that moving her eyes seemed to reduce the stress of disturbing memories. Based on these initial observations she conducted further research and published a paper in 1989 describing beneficial results in a number of case studies.

Trauma and other significantly intrusive symptoms were treated by having the client being guided by the EMDR trained therapist in moving their eyes in a random way while recalling troubling memories. Through this process of re-experiencing such memories, clients were able to resolve the symptoms of trauma effectively.

More recent developments have removed the focus on the eyes and used a number of other techniques and language to bring about the positive effect. Its use has also been extended to include a wide range of conditions and symptoms. The technique has been substantiated through repeated studies and complex research studies.