A insightful article by Doug Wyllie, PoliceOne Editor about the effectiveness of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) that can help a police officer who has experienced a traumatic event find a way to deal with distressing memories.
There’s an old expression that “there are some things you just cannot unsee.” While that may be true, there is clear evidence that with the assistance of a practitioner of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) — an integrative therapeutic approach for dealing with distressing memories — cops can put much of that trauma behind them.
Whether it is bearing witness to the death of a child or of a fellow police officer — or some other heinous tragedy — cops frequently are exposed to incidents and images that haunt them for a long time to come. Having experienced either a one-time traumatic event, or by having seen multiple traumatic things over time, some individuals can suffer from nightmares, flashbacks, and other symptoms of PTSD. And sometimes, a traumatic memory can become frozen — stuck — in the brain, where it can continue to be triggered by reminders.
According to one retired police officer who experienced a traumatic event and the doctor who treated him, EMDR can help.