EMDR (eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing) is a type of therapy used to treat the symptoms of trauma. EMDR is recommended by The National Institute for Health and Excellence as the first treatment for people suffering from PTSD and related symptoms.
How does EMDR work?
When you're involved in a distressing event, you may feel overwhelmed and your brain may be unable to process the information as a normal memory. The distressing memory seems to become frozen on a neurological level. When you recall the distressing memory, you can re-experience what you saw, heard, smelt, tasted or felt, and this can be quite intense.
Through alternating left to right stimulation of the brain with eye movements or taps, EMDR stimulates the blocked information processing system. In the process the intense memories can loose their intensity and become less distressing. The effect is believed to be similar to that which naturally occurs during REM (rapid eye movements) when your eyes move rapidly from side to side.
What will happen…
It's important to understand that EMDR is not simply the use of eye movements but rather a comprehensive therapeutic approach, which involves forming a stable therapeutic relationship that can facilitate the exploration of distressing memories.
Therapy may begin with sessions that incorporate resources, including the teaching of self-calming techniques and techniques for managing flashbacks, for use within and between sessions in order to make sure the client is sufficiently prepared to re-visit disturbing events.
Once we both feel that you're sufficiently prepared, we will work to target a distressing memory with eye movements or other forms of left-right alternating stimulation, such as taps.
You'll then be asked to select an image that represents the distressing event and think about negative and positive thoughts and feelings, and the amount of distress felt.
We will than begin eye movements while you hold the image in mind. After each set of eye movements we will discuss what came to mind. During the eye movements you may experience the distressing event quite intensely to start with, but this distress generally reduces as the memory is processed with EMDR.
What can be treated…
physical or sexual assault
abuse, including childhood or domestic abuse
exposure to traumatic events at work
serious health problems, such as being admitted to intensive care
childbirth experiences, such as losing a baby or birth trauma
war and conflict
For more information or to schedule an initial consultation, call me on 07711 946 396 or contact me via email