Francine Shapiro – Examine Her Contributions To The Field Of Psychology

{flickr|100|campaign} Life is full of ups, downs and things in between. There’s always something that will come up and for the most part, people can get past them. However, sometimes there are events that are so hard to deal with that the very thought of them can cause a great amount of sadness, distress and pain. That’s why Dr. Francine Shapiro came up with a method that helps people that go through extreme distress when recalling a certain memory. Discover who she is and what her method is all about.

Who she is
Francine Shapiro is a psychologist that developed a method that helped people reduce their distress and other difficulties associated with traumatic experiences. This method is known as eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), and basically involves moving the eyes to help minimize negative feelings and emotions when thinking of bad experiences. Some of these experiences include witnessing a murder take place, abuse, war or other issues. The method originated when Francine Shapiro was thinking of a troubled memory and was moving her eyes around at the same time. Doing so made her feel more at ease during the thought process. As a result, she decided to conduct further research and develop procedures to help further flesh out the process. In 1989 she published a study that discussed her results.

EMDR explained
During the process, there are eight phases. Within these phases, the patient will have to address all aspects of the memory; the past, present and future. A typical session in each phase involves 15 to 30 second intervals. During these intervals, the patient will think of the memory and move his or her eyes as directed by their therapist. This can also involve tapping of the hands. After each set, the patient needs to report on their experience and what they associate with it. As a result, the process is repeated again through the session.

When Dr. Francine Shapiro came up with EMDR, the idea was that moving the eyes would help directly link the memory networks and help make a connection between the stressful memory and more positive, adaptive information – therefore, improving the overall processing of information. Going forward, the goal is to have the bad memory change into something better, which would help the patient relate to the memory in a more positive light than negative. He or she will have a better perspective on the memory or entire situation, allowing him or her to better handle emotions and hopefully relieve their internal distress and distortions related to the memory.

Publications and credentials
Francine Shapiro, has a Ph.D. and has written or co-written an array of articles and books. Her latest publication is a book called “The Handbook of EMDR and Family Therapy Processes.” In addition, she is a Senior Research Fellow at the Mental Research Institute in Palo Alto, California, as well as the Executive Director of the EMDR Institute in Watsonville, California. She also has received an assortment of awards and is consistently asked to speak at conferences related to the psychotherapy arena.