A small success story: “REMSTIM 3000…and it works!”
When I had the idea 15 years ago to make EMDR available to everyone for self-coaching, I had no idea that it would become a small success story. I had been working with EMDR for some time at that time and was fascinated by the method. As a rule, I was able to help my clients quickly and reliably in the session. Again and again I was asked whether EMDR could not be used alone, in self-application. In principle, there was nothing against it for everyday sensitivities, i.e. emotional stresses of a non-disease nature, and I liked the idea if EMDR could be really helpful in self-coaching.
So I set out to investigate EMDR more closely for effective self-coaching. It became apparent that the original EMDR process had to be adapted for self-application in coaching so as not to overwhelm self-applicants. This was not complicated at all. I wrote down the instructions for EMDR self-coaching and made them available for free download. It has now been downloaded tens of thousands of times.
EMDR needs an external stimulus
So far so good. But there should be another problem: the central element of EMDR is the rapid eye movements that users make in the EMDR process. During these rapid eye movements, the stresses are processed. Now you would think that performing rapid eye movements is not that difficult. But far from it. Experiments showed that users were not able to perform the rapid eye movements correctly and especially persistently enough, especially under stress. As a result, EMDR self-coaching has become more akin to a guided EMDR session, in which a coach guides clients through, for example, a “guided” EMDR session. hand waving to quick eye movements, was far inferior.
Even waving in front of your own eyes to follow your own hand movement with your eyes was not a solution either. The own load led here to the fact that the angular movements were insufficiently executed in quality and duration.
It was obvious: so what was needed was an external stimulus that would persistently and correctly enable the stimulation to rapid eye movements in EMDR self-coaching. At the same time, no mistakes were allowed to be made in the process. This was also the reason why even then available, albeit large and space-consuming, running light strips were only conditionally suitable for EMDR self-coaching, as helpful as they were for the EMDR session. In EMDR self-coaching, self-users moved their heads far too frequently to follow the stimulus, which prevented rapid eye movements and thus negated the positive effects of EMDR. A device for external stimulation was therefore absolutely necessary.
The first prototype of EMDR glasses
Some time later, I came up with the idea of glasses that would take over the stimulation function in EMDR self-coaching. At the end of 2008, I set to work on the development with an experienced and technically skilled engineer. A short time later, I presented the first prototype with which the functions could be tested. The effect was amazing. It worked flawlessly with the correct settings, which were found thanks to numerous attempts.
There was only one small problem: I could not offer the prototype to anyone, as you can see in the picture. While the electronics were placed in a bag on the user’s head, the glasses were obscured with tape. A fancy EMDR coaching device looked different. In addition, this prototype was not suitable for series production.
Nevertheless, even the functions of the prototype were playfully easy to use with only 2 function keys. What was missing was a device suitable for series production that was both handy and aesthetically pleasing.
It was going to be a longer process. The first series device was created at the end of 2009 and came a bit closer to my ideas. In the end, what counted was that it was accepted by the clients. The focus was always on function, only then came the design. The electronics were integrated into the body, the weight was acceptable and the workmanship was largely handmade. And the clients accepted the first EMDR glasses available on the market, which made me very happy.
For a market appearance I needed a name. It was a few weeks before I remembered the brand name REMSTIM while driving. REMSTIM is composed of:
REM from each of the first letters of Rapid Eye Movement, well known from REM sleep, and STIM from stimulation. For the EMDR glasses, I then added the number 3000 to the name.
Ultimately, however, the first series device was not yet optimal. Although it performed its function optimally, it was very thick and quite heavy. So I kept trying.
The next generation followed. Although hardly recognizable to the layman, the 2nd version of the series device was just noticeably optimized in production. It looked nicer thanks to a “facelift” and reduced the production effort a bit, but it was still difficult to meet demand as early as 2010. Because word had obviously spread that EMDR self-coaching was effective with that of the REMSTIM 3000 EMDR goggles. The device was a bit slimmer and the workmanship improved again.
Professional processing technologies are used
For example, the use of laser cutting in processed plastics has increased the accuracy of fit. Especially the bottom of the device gained in attractiveness and the weight was also reduced a bit. The production time decreased and the clients gratefully accepted the offer of increased quantities. Nevertheless, the production of the 2nd series device was complex and expensive. And although the REMSTIM 3000 helped many self-users, I was shortly faced with the decision to abandon the production of the first EMDR glasses. The decisive idea for trouble-free series production was missing.
Breakthrough in series production of the REMSTIM 3000
The breakthrough in series production did not come until 2014. Thanks to the right idea of my developer, from then on it was possible to produce large quantities. And the design convinced me and the clients.
This 3rd version of the series device was something completely new. The installed electronics had been completely revised and now required only a fraction of the space. Consequently, the new REMSTIM 3000 EMDR glasses were very flat and weighed just 75 grams. The two function keys sat on the top left and right of the eyeglass frame. And what was nice: finally the demand could be served thanks to a functioning series production. The time required was reduced immensely.
The REMSTIM 3000 is “facelifted
In 2016 I decided to make another minor change, another “facelift”. In the process, I further improved the operation by positioning the function keys (again) on the front of the goggles, which was once a production requirement during the development step from the 2. To the 3. version of the series device had been changed. Finally I had the feeling to offer something on the market that not only works but also meets my demand for simplicity, function and aesthetics. Interestingly enough, I am regularly asked whether I would have guessed back then how elaborate the development path and how successful the EMDR glasses would be. My answer: No, I had no idea!
10 years from the idea to the final product REMSTIM 3000
As you can see, the development alone took 10 years until the 4th series device. It’s a lot of fun. Development continues to make the device lighter, better and more manageable. Finally, there was a small but effective structural adjustment, whereby the button cell battery for the power supply could be relocated from the previous open position in the right temple of the glasses to the circuit board and thus integrated into the housing of the glasses under a cover. Changing the battery remains a simple exercise.
With all the effort, the positive feedback from users of the REMSTIM 3000 EMDR goggles that reaches me is a wonderful recognition of my work. For this I thank all.
If you are thinking about using EMDR self-coaching with the REMSTIM 3000 yourself, I would like to take this opportunity to encourage you to do so. But, of course, that’s your choice. It is a wonderful and usually highly effective method. Thanks to the REMSTIM 3000, it is also downright playful.
Last but not least, my experience with the development of the EMDR goggles REMSTIM 3000 led to the idea of developing a new EMDR device(REMSTIM 4000) for the session that would also fit in there. But that’s another story(read more)
And a bit better again: The REMSTIM 3000 (Model 2023)
This time we have invested a lot of energy and time in the development of a new spectacle frame for the REMSTIM 3000. After more than half a year of intensive development work, we are pleased to present the REMSTIM 3000 (Model 2023). The latest series device weighs even 12 grams less and also uses less material in production. The frame of the Model 2023 glasses is now produced using 3D printing. Despite being even lighter than its predecessor, it is extremely durable. The material is opaque, which further increases the focus during application to the pre-model.
More than 14 years have now passed since the first prototype of the REMSTIM 3000. Both the basic functions of its stimulation technology and its extremely simple operation and handling have been continuously optimized over the years. With the new frame we make the EMDR device a bit better.