Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing supports clients in changing the way they respond here and now, where it is adversely influenced by past experiences. This means that in the future something different is possible as change ripples out and changes your responses to life events.
EMDR makes use of the brain's natural healing abilities to resolve emotions, bodily feelings and thoughts that are causing distress. EMDR is now a widely recommended treatment for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, recommended by the World Health Organisation and in the UK by NICE. EMDR also supports growth in the way you relate to others (sometimes called attachment issues).
When you are experiencing distress now because of something that has happened in the past, and your memory of it is vivid and intrusive, it means that at the time the event happened it was overwhelming and your brain has not been able to process it and turn it into a memory that fades with time.
EMDR makes use of the brain's natural tendency to heal itself by turning disturbing material into healthy material. This is called Adaptive Information Processing. Research has shown that when a client has one foot in the past and one foot in the present (metaphorically), this stimulates the processing of memories. The dual attention on the past and present in EMDR kick starts natural processing that the brain does under normal circumstances, changing the client's response to the memories so that they are no longer disturbing.
For articles about how to self-help if you are experiencing distressing symptoms, click here.
Check out this animation for a simple explanation of EMDR:
The EMDR Process
So what happens in EMDR therapy? First, we talk about your past, and highlight significant events that relate to the outcomes you want from therapy.
Then, we check out your readiness, find out how you cope now, and build up your internal resources to help you through EMDR and in everyday life.
EMDR processing is a stimulus to your brain’s natural, creative, healing capacity. It involves me helping you to access the target distress and then stimulating both sides of your bodymind alternatively using eye movements, tapping or sounds. As EMDR progresses most often distress recedes, beliefs update, and physical symptoms alleviate.
We will prepare for EMDR at the pace that is right for you, making sure you feel comfortable and safe. Current difficulties, health concerns and how able you are to be with difficult experiences all impact our planning. EDMR can be challenging, sometimes clients feel worse before they feel better and your overall well-being is my priority.
This information is a very short overview of EMDR, for more information about how it might work for you, please get in touch.