Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is an effective treatment for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and is as effective as cognitive behavior therapy.
EMDR is designed to reduce the enduring symptoms of painful memories by utilizing the brain's natural adaptive information processing, thus reducing and even ending the powerful effects. There are eight phases that include having the patient call to mind disturbing memories whilst undergoing one of several bilateral sensory inputs. The most common is side to side eye movements, following the finger or pen of a qualified therapist.
This replicates the rapid eye movement (REM) phase of sleep, which is when our brains 'sort' the memories and input to our brain, 'filing' information into appropriate 'places'. The patient will hear pleasant sounds or pictures, so that the memory recalled, after time, is altered.
Patients say that their previous suspicious or agitated responses to situation became relaxed and flashbacks were considerably reduced. Source: BBCIPM
EMDR is as efficacious as talking therapy and much more effective than medication. Patients may require more than the usual twelve sessions, although they can replicate the therapy on their own, if they can access a regularly moving object such as a pendulum. They should ask their therapist first.
Source: Collaboration with my colleague, Steve Brady (no relation) and Pschology Msc