We all go through different traumas at different stages of our lives. Some traumas are more debilitating than others. Some traumas are emotional while others are physical. Various techniques exist to decrease the toll these traumas have on patients. The Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is one of these techniques.
Now to your question:
EMDR technique is considered by many to be experimental but it has gained a great deal of popularity since the process requires no medication. Experts recommend that a licensed therapist perform EMDR treatments to avoid negative side effects.
During EMDR treatment, the patient is provided visual stimuli that alternates between the both sides of the patient's brain. It sounds like you were told to clap your hands. This is a visual stimulate and an auditory one as well. During this process, the then patient focuses on a traumatic event while the therapist moves his or hand (or another object) and the patient follows this movement. It is important to note that when patients focus on these traumatic events, that within itself can be emotionally distressing. It is important to the patient to have a support system in place following each of these sessions and that the patient works with an expert in this field.
EMDR is performed decrease trauma over a series of sessions. It is important to note that this technique is not a panacea--it lessens trauma but does not make it disappear. While numerous patients claim EMDR lessens their emotional pain, others claim EMDR can increase their emotional distress. Before you decide if this or any other technique is best for you, do your research and make your decision based on your past history and scientific facts.
I hope this helps.
For more information about EMDR, visit: www.MentalMeds.org. Kevin Thompson, Ph.D. is the author of Medicines for Mental Health: The Ultimate Guide to Psychiatric Medication. You can find information about treatments for depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and sexual problems.