WMU Behavioral Health Services receives $10,000 EMDR Grant

WMU Behavioral Health Services has received a $10,000 grant for training and treatment of Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR). The grant, awarded through the College of Health and Human Services, is part of the Resiliency Center for Families and Children Research and Innovation Incentive Grant Program and will focus on supporting and enhancing the sustainability goals of the Resiliency Center. This Research and Innovation Incentive Grant Program will encourage and increase discovery involvement of the faculty in scholarly research and creative activity.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a psychotherapy treatment that was originally designed to alleviate the distress associated with traumatic memories (Shapiro, 1989a, 1989b). EMDR therapy helps your brain heal much like your body heals from physical trauma. The eight-step process focuses on an individual’s past, present and future during therapy sessions. During EMDR therapy the client attends to emotionally disturbing material in brief sequential doses while simultaneously focusing on an external stimulus. Therapist directed lateral eye movements are the most used external stimulus (Shapiro, 1991).

“EMDR psychotherapy is a way to heal the brain from traumatic events,” says Joe Kuchenbuch, Director of WMU Behavioral Health Services. “We use a light bar to track eye movements while discussing the patients past. EMDR has proven to be effective in short periods of time,” Kuchenbuch adds.

Funding for EMDR will be used to train all BHS staff and to provide treatment to clients within Behavioral Health Services, BRISA, the Resiliency Center and Juvenile Justice program.