What is EMDR?
EMDR is the acronym for “Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing.” It’s a method of trauma therapy used by health care professionals that mimics REM (rapid eye movement) sleep patterns. The purpose of this type of therapy is for the client to work through particularly difficult traumas such as PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) or other particularly difficult events. Because it’s been so successful, many mental health professionals are beginning to utilize the EMDR techniques, which often involve the use of “bilateral music” where it pans gently from left to right.
How to listen to EMDR Music
Bilateral and EMDR music is meant to be listened to through head sets or ear buds. Most EMDR music fully pans from left to right. Some composers have taken their music and added a single percussion instrument or sound that pans left to right while the music plays in both speakers. Be sure to discuss with your health care practitioner which method of panning is best for you.
From an EMDR therapist's perspective...
Holly Cummings was a certified, level II, EMDR therapist. Her husband also creates EMDR music in the bilateral format. So, between the two of us, you have a variety of choices for EMDR music! Here’s a little tidbit taken from Holly (who has passed away) about how she used EMDR music:
Instructions for relaxing with Bilateral (EMDR) Music:
In order to combat stress and anxiety it’s important to learn to breathe! Slow, deep, quiet breathing (diaphramatic breathing) so that you SEE and FEEL your abdomen rise and fall with each in and out of your breath is key. Focus on breathing and enjoy the bilateral music. You can also enhance this experience by imagining a beautiful, safe place and being there in your mind. Make it as detailed as possible to help your mind buy into the idea that it’s real.
Instructions for working with physical pain:
Again, as with relaxation work, you need to focus on belly breathing AND also focus on the pain (which is usually what we try to avoid). Just notice the pain — even it is in several areas. Keep noticing the pain and when it moves or shifts just follow it and keep noticing. It is not unusual for the pain to move, shift, or change intensity. Whatever it does, simply notice it without judgement or a lot of thought as to what it means.
by Holly Cummings, LPC-MHSP
It is possible to "over listen" to EMDR music. Start with one song and gradually add more as your system is ready for it. Take a break before listening to more bilateral music, especially if you're utilizing ear buds. It is possible to listen to EMDR music with regular speakers. In order for that to have an effect, centralize your work between the two speakers. For this type of EMDR listening, it appears the listening time can be longer. Again, this is based on customer feedback.
How does EMDR music work?
EMDR appears to work well with children on the autistic spectrum. Position their work/play area between a set of speakers. In this case, earbuds don't work as well. Play the music at a volume barely noticeable to the child throughout the activity. Reports suggest playing EMDR music during these sessions helps autistic children focus better. More research needs to be conducted to explore how EMDR music affects the listener beyond a specific listening session.
Talk with a therapist about EMDR music
If you're involved with an EMDR therapist, ask about the use of bilateral music outside your sessions. Your Therapist may have additional listening suggestions that are specific to your needs. Please share this page with practitioners since very few musicians are creating this type of music. And, most therapists aren't aware music is being created to assist them!
Listen to EMDR Music Created by Del Hungerford
All of the music on this page is in the bilateral/EMDR format. There are two FULL albums in both standard and the EMDR formats (I AM and New Hope). The other EMDR albums are combinations of songs from various albums that create a "theme." There ARE repeats of songs between albums so choose those that best fit your personal needs and desires.
NOTE: All of the music gently pans back and forth between left and right speakers throughout the EMDR version of Del's songs. There are no bells or other sounds present that are typical of other EMDR music. It is best to listen to EMDR music with earbuds.
To purchase Del's EMDR music, listen to samples below...
- Joyful Life EMDR
- Joyful Heart EMDR
- Joyful Hope EMDR
- Love Abounds EMDR
- I AM EMDR
- Life Source EMDR
- I AM EMDR from the album I AM
- Wings of Spirit EMDR from the album Waves of Spirit
- Regeneration EMDR from the album 528 Creative DNA
- Joyful Heart EMDR from the album New Hope
- Joyful Hope EMDR from the album New Hope
- Abiding Love EMDR from the album Cleansing Fire
- Life Source EMDR from the album I AM
- Love Abounds EMDR from the album I AM
- Joyous Hope EMDR from the album Open Heaven
- Spirit Awakens EMDR from the album Open Gates
- Living Sacrifice EMDR from the album In the Resurrection Code
- Transformation EMDR from the album In the Resurrection Code
- The Wedding EMDR from the album Into His Presence