About EMDR

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a unique form of psychotherapy designed to work with distressing or traumatic memories. Many psychological difficulties are a consequence of distressing life events. EMDR focuses on the disturbing emotions and symptoms associated with the event.

 

Repeated studies show that by using EMDR therapy people can experience the benefits of psychotherapy that once took years to make a difference. It is widely assumed that severe emotional pain requires a long time to heal.  EMDR therapy shows that the mind can in fact heal from psychological trauma much as the body recovers from physical trauma.  When you cut your hand, your body works to close the wound.  If a foreign object or repeated injury irritates the wound, it festers and causes pain.  Once the block is removed, healing resumes.  EMDR therapy demonstrates that a similar sequence of events occurs with mental processes.  The brain’s information processing system naturally moves toward mental health.  If the system is blocked or imbalanced by the impact of a disturbing event, the emotional wound festers and can cause intense suffering.  Once the block is removed, healing resumes.  Using the detailed protocols and procedures learned in EMDR therapy training sessions, clinicians help clients activate their natural healing processes. 

When something traumatic happens to you, your mind may continue to hold onto it in a way that includes the original picture, sounds, feelings, sensations and thoughts or any combination of the above. It seems like the trauma is locked inside and it can be triggered by many different things or people that you encounter throughout the day and/or night.  These old experiences can still cause a great deal of discomfort. At times, you may feel helpless because you are not able to control what is happening in your mind or body.  That is because you are experiencing the effects and sensations that are connected with this old experience.

 


Recent research on how the brain makes sense of new information has found that the rapid eye movements of sleep (REM) help in processing the events of the day. EMDR utilises these eye movements, whilst awake, to help overcome the psychological after-effects of trauma.  Research has shown that the eye movements help the right and left hemispheres of the brain  communicate and process psychological difficulties.

Research so far highlights positive results in the following areas:

  • Depression

  • Physical, emotional and sexual abuse

  • Anxiety

  • Accidents

  • Phobias

  • Complicated grief (loss by death, divorce, job etc.)

  • Stress

  • Self esteem

  • Childhood trauma

  • Relationship issues

  • Bullying

  • PTSD