What is Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprocessing (EMDR)?
- EMDR is an information processing therapy that incorporates elements from many different treatment approaches utilising the natural healing ability of your body.
- EMDR is used for individuals who have experienced severe trauma that remains unresolved. When a traumatic or distressing experience occurs, it may overwhelm normal thought processing and coping mechanisms. The memory and associated trigger are inadequately processed, and stored in an isolated memory network.
- The goal of EMDR therapy is to process these distressing memories, reducing their negative effects and allowing clients to develop better coping mechanisms. This is done in an eight-step protocol that includes having clients recall distressing images while receiving one of several types of bilateral sensory input E.g. Eye movements, that are recreated by asking you to watch the practitioner’s finger move backwards and forwards across your visual field. Sometimes, a bar of moving lights or headphones is used instead.
- The eye movements will last for a short while and then stop. You will then be asked to report back on the experiences you have had during each of these sets of eye movements. Experiences during a session may include changes in thoughts, images and feelings.
- EMDR was originally developed to treat adults suffering from PTSD, however, it is also used to treat other conditions. View types of difficulties here.
- Your sessions may be weekly or fortnightly and you will have an opportunity to agree the number of sessions in your treatment plan with your EMDR Practitioner.
- EMDR is delivered in person at your GP surgery or other local venues close to you with sessions lasting between 60-90 minutes.
How do I access it?
- You will first need an assessment with one of our therapists. You will have an opportunity to talk about your difficulties and what your goals are. During your assessment you will be able to discuss treatment options with your therapist, where you may both decide that EMDR is best suited to your needs. You will then be given an appointment for EMDR as soon as one becomes available.
Who supports me?
- An EMDR Practitioner will deliver the therapy in person and can support you to make positive changes.
What are the benefits?
- With repeated sets of eye movements, the memory tends to change in such a way that it loses its painful intensity and simply becomes a neutral memory of an event in the past. Other associated memories may also heal at the same time. This linking of related memories can lead to a dramatic and rapid improvement in many aspects of your life.
- Negative emotions, feelings and behaviours are generally caused by unresolved earlier experiences that are pushing you in the wrong directions. The goal of EMDR therapy is to leave you with the emotions, understanding, and perspectives that will lead to healthy and useful behaviours and interactions.
- EMDR can accelerate therapy by resolving the impact of your past traumas and allowing you to live more fully in the present.
- EMDR has been extensively researched and proven effective for the treatment of trauma and is a recommended intervention by the NICE Guidelines (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence).