‘History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, and if faced with courage, need not be lived again’.
Therapy of any kind is a way for an individual to begin to reclaim control of past experiences and learn to process pain in a healthy way.
What is EMDR?
Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprocessing (EMDR) is an integrative approach that has been extensively researched and proven effective treatment of trauma. EMDR is a set of standardised protocols that incorporates elements from many different treatment approaches. To date, EMDR therapy has helped millions of people of all ages relieve many types of psychological stress.
How does EMDR work?
No one knows how any form of psychotherapy works neurobiologically or in the brain. However, we do know that when a person is very upset, their brain cannot process information as it does ordinarily. One moment becomes ‘frozen in time’ and remembering a trauma may feel as bad as going through it the first time because the images, sounds, smells and feelings have not changed. Such memories have a lasting negative effect that interferes with the way a person sees the world and the way they relate to other people.
EMDR seems to have a direct effect on the way that the brain processes information. Normal information processing is resumed, so following a successful EMDR session, a person no longer relives the images, sounds and feelings when the event is brought to mind. You still remember what happened, but it is less upsetting. Many types of therapy have similar goals. However, EMDR appears to be similar to what occurs naturally during dreaming or REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. Therefore EMDR can be thought of as a physiologically based therapy that helps a person see disturbing material in a new and less distressing way.
What can EMDR be used for?
In addition to its use for the treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), EMDR has been successfully used to treat:
- complicated grief
- anxiety and depression
- pain relief, phantom limb pain
- self-esteem and performance anxiety
- panic attacks
- sleep problems
How long does treatment take?
A typical EMDR session lasts from 60 to 90 minutes. The type of problem, life circumstances and the amount of previous traumas will determine how many treatment sessions are necessary.
I am a qualified EMDR Practitioner working within the NHS and privately and will happily answer any further questions you may have.
For more information visit: www.emdr.com. EMDR is recommended by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) as an effective treatment for PTSD.