What is EMDR Therapy?
EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a psychotherapy that enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress resulting from disturbing life experiences and trauma. Repeated studies have demonstrated that by undergoing EMDR therapy people have been able to experience improvements in their well-being which in turn makes a positive difference to their life and choices.
It is has been assumed that severe emotional pain requires a long time to heal however EMDR therapy shows that the mind can in fact heal from psychological trauma and distress in similar ways as the body recovers from physical trauma. For example when you cut yourself the body works to close the wound but if a foreign object, infection or repeated injury irritates the wound, it can get worse rather than better. However, as we all know, once the barrier to healing is removed, healing naturally continues.
EMDR therapy is an evidenced based therapy (scientifically researched to produce evidence of its effectiveness for many people) which works on the theory that a similar healing process occurs within our mental processes. Put simply EMDR therapy helps the brain’s information processing system to naturally heal and move towards mental health and wellbeing. Once the block to healing is removed the brain is then able to heal itself and use more constructive ways to view the emotional wound. So by using the detailed protocols and procedures of EMDR therapy I am able to help clients activate their natural healing processes and experience the benefits.
What happens during an EMDR Therapy session?
EMDR therapy is essentially an eight-phase treatment. The first stage or session is to take a detailed personal history to establish the memory or emotion to target in the first instance. During the following sessions eye movements (or other bilateral stimulation) are used alongside relaxation and talking therapy. The client is guided to hold different aspects of an event, emotion, feeling or thought in their mind and to use their eyes to track an object as it moves back and forth across their field of vision. This process simulates the biological mechanisms involved in Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep, internal associations arise and the client begins to process the memory and disturbing feelings in a more helpful way. Following sessions continue in a similar way to enable the brain to process and heal whilst allowing the mind to select the memories, feelings and experiences that need to be processed. In successful EMDR therapy gradually the meaning of painful events is transformed on an emotional level enabling the client to rebuild their confidence, well being, self-esteem and move forward confidently in their life.
Past, Present and Future
EMDR therapy focuses on the past, present and future. This allows the client to heal their past, as well as the issues that are currently occurring as a result of the past learning whilst enabling more positive responses to be selected in present and future.
EMDR Therapy around the world
EMDR has achieved worldwide recognition as an effective treatment of trauma and in particular PTSD. It is also very effective in treating those “everyday” memories, or what I call 2 and 2 make 5 memories, where the brain has not processed an event or incident in a helpful way, perhaps from childhood, an upsetting event or even a long forgotten time. Regardless these insufficiently processed memories can frequently be the reason people experience low self-confidence, anxiety, self-esteem issues, feelings of being stuck or powerlessness, and all the many problems that bring us to therapy for help. The EMDR Institute estimates that over 100,000 clinicians throughout the world use the therapy and already millions of people have been treated successfully over the past 25 years.
When is it available?
Fiona, EMDR therapist is available here at Hambledon Health in Blandford generally on a Tuesday, Thursday and some Saturdays, although it is possible for appointments to be made outside of these days.