Open Bilateral Stimulation is a low-cost open-source tool for psychotherapy written in Processing, akin to the so-called visual/aural/tactile EMDR therapy. The method of EMDR – “desensitization and reprocessing through eye movements” – was developed in the United States by Francine Shapiro (1980). It is a complex approach usable either in an autonomous way or integrated into different therapeutic programs, thus being able to increase their effectiveness.
This form of psychotherapy was directed initially to the treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, but is now a widely used method for the treatment of a broader spectrum of disorders in children and adults. The tool reproduces a dynamic image on the screen whose movement has to be followed by the patient. This movement can be customized according to therapeutic needs, by being either continuous or discrete with further variables such as speed, test duration and form of the moving object. It is possible to control the tool by means of low-cost touch sensors.