What is EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprocessing)?
- EMDR is a form of therapy that has helped people of all ages relieve many types of psychological distress. EMDR is a NICE (National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence) recommended intervention for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and is endorsed by the World Health Organisation (WHO)
- PTSD is often associated with the experiences of war or large public disasters but it can equally result from highly personal and very private experiences. It can lead to a number of psychological and physical symptoms including nightmares, flashbacks, depression, anxiety, loss of confidence and self-esteem, panic attacks, OCD, eating disorders relationship difficulties and poor management of emotional affect such as anger
How does it work?
- EMDR is based on the theory that our memories are normally categorised and filed away so that they can be accessed by other experiences adaptively
- Sometimes events are experienced as overwhelming and traumatic and are stored in their raw, unprocessed form along with all the emotions, physical sensations and negative beliefs that we had at the time of the event
- These unprocessed memories along with the negative thoughts and feelings experienced at the time can be re-awakened by triggers such as certain situations, sounds, touch and other sensations
How is EMDR different to other forms of psychotherapy?
Developing a strong relationship of trust with your therapist is as central and important to EMDR as any other form of psychotherapy
EMDR doesn’t emphasise talking about the traumatic event. Instead the focus is on:
- Reprocessing past events
- desensitising present triggers
- realistic, achievable, positive goals set for the future
If we agree together that EMDR could be helpful to you I will:
- provide you with an understanding of how EMDR works, explain what will happen in each session and answer any concerns that you may have. The idea is that we work together respectfully and collaboratively.
- talk to you about what goals you would like to achieve and then spend some time preparing you for processing past memories.
Innovation, Flexibility and Clinical Judgement
To achieve a comprehensive treatment effect this three-pronged basic treatment protocol is generally used. However, the timing of addressing all three prongs is determined by the client’s stability, readiness and situation. There may be situations where the order of the treatment protocol may be altered or prongs may be omitted, based on the clinical picture and my clinical judgement.