“IEMT is about changing the mental map of how we are feeling and how we are being. It does this by addressing behavioral and emotional imprints that we have acquired along our life’s path that have shaped our way being and molded our emotional response sets. IEMT appears to work by changing the manner in which information is recalled and stored within the limbic system. We hypothesize that IEMT specifically applies change within the region of the hippocampus and not the amygdala as is commonly cited with other eye movement therapies.
Amygdala activity is modulated only in its specific relationship with the hippocampal area. In IEMT it is proposed that a person carries a map of how to be and how to feel. More often than not, this map is acquired, adjusted and developed throughout the human development period, but for some people this map can prove to be complicated and problematic, and not always useful for the person.
For example, a small child may learn to be afraid of big dogs and thus engages in what is an appropriate survival behavior by avoiding them. As this child grows into an adult, this aspect of their map may not change, and this adult becomes a client with a phobia of dogs. The hippocampal regions retain the representation of “dogs” whilst the amygdala retains how to feel about “dogs”. The relationship between these two areas provides significant amounts of neurological data on how to feel around “dogs” and how to be around “dogs.”
The combination of these two elements may give rise to what is clinically considered to be a “phobia.” Phobias are only one very small area of IEMT application, and practitioners are reporting excellent results in the treatment of intractable depression, anxiety and related disorders, guilt, shame, bereavement, smoking cessation and other psychological and psychiatric difficulties.
At this stage in the IEMT development we do not encourage speculation as to why eye movements produce this change. The exact neurological explanation for this remains currently “unknown” and all explanations remain strictly at a phenomenological and behavioral level.
IEMT is more than simple trauma resolution. The IEMT treatment algorithms that are both central to the IEMT model, and also form the differentiating factors from other eye movement processes, create healthy adjustments in the mental map both in the way of feeling and the way of being.”
-Andrew T. Austin, Creator of IEMT
The Anatomy of a Memory