EMDR Therapy

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing) is a type of therapy aimed at reducing the disturbance of past experiences, present issues or feared future situations. We work together to come up with a plan and will aim to resolve big emotions, negative thoughts or bodily responses by holding the disturbing experience in mind. As you do that, I will ask you to follow my fingers back and forth, which allows your mind to fully process the experience and see if from alternative perspectives. Whilst I will be asking to to fully engage with that disturbance, I will be ensuring that you are kept safe and present in the relationship that we have established together. That way, the disturbance is not overwhelming and retraumatising.

EMDR is extremely effective at working through the things that are bothering you and leaves no stone left unturned to surprise you in the future. Clients often report that the experience of turning a traumatic memory into one that doesn’t bother them any more as ‘weird’. Their disbelief is turned into excitement of the life ahead of them as this is not something that ‘wears off’ but provides permanent positive change to how they can look at the past and feel about themselves in the present.

This short YouTube video explains a little more. Feel free to find out as much as you’d like online about EMDR or drop me a line to ask anything specific.

A Technical Bit

EMDR is NICE approved and has many random control trials that back up it’s effectiveness, despite it seeming a little ‘out there’ – how on earth can following a therapists fingers back and forth help resolve trauma? That is a very good question and one that even the cleverest boffins are still trying to understand exactly what goes on in the brain. What we do know is that whilst you are thinking of the disturbing event and following the fingers back and forth, your brain kicks into an accelerated processing mode. When done skilfully your therapist will allow you to get one foot in the disturbance, whilst keeping one foot rooted in the present. This keeps your rational brain online and allows you the dual awareness of the disturbance, along with the rational thought process to make sense of what happened back then.

It is equally effective working on a single big event, or a long series of complex events. Furthermore, if your history comprises of a series of ‘small t’ traumas (a potentially innocuous event that we might not even call trauma) as well as ‘big T’ traumas (for example car crash or childhood abuse) we can understand how they may all be linked and find resolution and peace.

There are many other ways to use EMDR therapy including reducing the urges for addictive behaviour and processing phantom limb pain – please get in touch if you have any questions.