What Is EMDR?

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) was developed to resolve symptoms resulting from disturbing and unresolved life experiences. EMDR is a structured solution to past, present, and future aspects of disturbing memories.

EMDR is cost effective, requiring fewer sessions than traditional therapy. Relief from emotional distress often comes within the first few sessions.

EMDR is effective therapy for issues such as:

  • Panic attacks
  • General anxiety disorder (GAD)
  • Phobias
  • Sexual/Emotional/Physical abuse
  • Road traffic accident trauma
  • Excessive grief
  • Depression
  • Physical pain
  • Addictions
  • Fear of public speaking
  • Performance anxiety

In order to understand EMDR, one needs to have a relatively clear idea of how trauma can affect the brain. With Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), the brain fails to successfully process the trauma and it gets stuck in the central nervous system. The body fails to recognize that the person is now safe. Instead it reacts as though danger is current, and this throws the person out of balance on many levels, including emotional and physical.

EMDR is unique because it facilitates the processing of information that has become ‘stuck’ in the central nervous system.

Is EMDR only good for trauma?

EMDR has many applications but the most documented is trauma. Other areas which have found some success are panic attacks, anxiety, addictions, disturbing memories, stress reduction, complicated grief, physical or sexual abuse, stage fright, public speaking, phobias, and pain in general.

How Does EMDR Work?

EMDR can work for some issues, such as a specific anxiety or phobia, in just one session. More often, it takes place over a series of sessions based upon an eight phase system which has been tried and tested.

Initial sessions enable the therapist to gather information about a client, the problem and its origins.

Next, the client is encouraged to visualize a safe place and just experience being there. This is done with the purpose of enabling the client to link the sessions with an increased degree of safety.

The client will have been asked to draw up a list of issues or traumas to be dealt with. The first EMDR work is usually based upon the issue or trauma that the client would feel most comfortable dealing with. This is useful because it enables the client to get used to the process without simultaneously jumping in at the deep end. Again, the point is to develop that feeling of safety.

EMDR requires clients to focus on three main aspects of the trauma. Firstly, a visual image which is usually that of the most disturbing part of the trauma. Secondly, the negative thought that they have about themselves in relation to the trauma. Thirdly, the location of the disturbance in their body.

Treatment can be very rapid, however, the number of sessions will vary, according to the complexity of the issues being dealt with. After an EMDR session, there may be a strong sense of relief, a feeling of openness and healing.

How Can EMDR Help You?

EMDR can help with: PTSD,  Anxiety, Panic attacks, Fear & phobias, Stress, Grief and loss, Relationship issues, Childhood trauma, Physical abuse, Sexual abuse, Occupational stress, Combat stress, Auto accidents, Natural disaster, Violent crime, School trauma, Agoraphobia, Anger management, Social anxiety, Physical or chronic illness, Flashbacks, Nightmares, Birth trauma, Divorce recovery, Loss of self esteem, Procrastination, Perfectionism, Addictions, Compulsions/OCD, Creative blocks, Athletic performance, Goal setting and Life transitions.