Eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR) is a form of psychotherapy developed by Francine Shapiro that emphasises the role of distressing memories, particularly posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) but also many others (see list below). It is an evidence-based therapy used to help with the symptoms; it is thought that when a traumatic or distressing experience occurs, it may overwhelm normal coping mechanisms. The memory and associated stimuli are inadequately processed and stored in an isolated memory network. EMDR invokes the body’s natural healing process to reconnect the events and memories allowing natural healing.
What can the client expect at the appointment
The sessions are informal and relaxing. At the first few sessions, we will assess your needs and start to gain an understanding of your life history and trauma. After a few sessions we will be ready to start the reprocessing. This will involve focusing on the trauma and by the use of bilateral stimulation allow your mind and body to reconnect the trauma events allowing the emotional disturbances to be understood.
What will happen in a session
You will be encouraged to explore your feelings and thoughts, and to examine your history including the specific reason for seeking help, we will also explore techniques so you can rapidly deal with any emotional disturbance that may arise.
After a few sessions we may be ready to start the reprocessing, this involves exploring your own negative beliefs about yourself and finding alternative positive self-belief, and then by the use of bilateral stimulation we will invoke the body’s natural healing process allowing a reconnection of supressed emotional disturbances with supressed memories and thoughts.
How many sessions should the client need before they see a result
Reprocessing for a single trauma is generally accomplished within 3-4 sessions. But this can take longer if there has been many traumas, but you should see some improvement within 3-4 sessions.
How will the client feel after the session
The nature of EMDR means that after your session the treatment will continue to be active in your awareness. This means that you may find yourself thinking about the thoughts you focused on during your session and you may feel the same emotions you experienced during your session. To help you through this process, allow yourself time and space to relax after an EMDR session and utilise the relaxation techniques you have learnt. While everyone is different, over time these feelings will generally become less intense and many people say they feel a strong sense of relief after their sessions.
What can the Therapy help
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (e.g. from an accident, sexual assault, death of a loved one, separation, loss of employment, retirement, bullying).
- Fear and panic attacks.
- Sleeping disorders.
- Pain syndromes.
- Psychosomatic complaints.
- Stress management.
- Burnout prevention.
- Self-esteem issues.
- Performance blocks.
- Undesired behavioural patterns.
Who would benefit from this type of Therapy
Here are some of the very kind things previous clients have said.
Insightful and empathic