Compare and contrast narrative therapy with EMDR.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

First, we will briefly overview both therapies and then compare and contrast their perspectives.

Narrative therapy is a form of counseling that approaches a person’s life as a series of stories. Some stories are good, and some stories are bad. The goal of narrative therapy is to uncover strengths in...

This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Get 48 Hours Free Access

a person’s identity which will allow that person to define who they really are. In turn, the bad stories can be rewritten through this newfound strength.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) encourages a person to focus on a past traumatic experience while at the same time being stimulated through a rapid eye movement technique. The goal is to reduce the emotional connection to the memory and change how the memory is stored in the brain.

As we compare the two therapies, we can see right away that both can be used to focus on dealing with traumatic experiences and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The intention of both is to help an individual deal with events in his or her life that may be preventing a healthy emotional future. Both require further academic learning by a mental health professional.

As we contrast the two therapies, we can see that EMDR focuses on the way the memory is stored, while narrative therapy focuses on altering the emotions. EMDR intends to change how a memory is stored in the brain, while narrative therapy attempts to distance a person from their problem through conversation and view it in a different light. Through the rapid eye movement technique, EMDR attempts to reduce the symptoms that may trigger traumatic experiences in the brain. Narrative therapy, on the other hand, focuses on the positive stories in a person’s life to help deal with and rewrite the bad stories in a person’s life.

For more information on trauma treatment, please view the following link.

Approved by eNotes Editorial