As Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) becomes more well known, clients are increasingly coming to therapy asking for this specific technique.
Like any therapeutic approach, EMDR is great for what it is great for, and not so much for some presentations. Careful assessment is needed to make sure EMDR is right for a client. Also, clients need to be able to give informed consent, so before proceeding I always let them know what they are signing up for.
Once fully informed, clients are sometimes apprehensive about EMDR, and here's why. Once a memory network is opened neither they nor I can fully predict what might come up. Also, EMDR does not always fully resolve each issue in a single session, so between sessions clients may experience images, feelings, body sensations and vivid dreams that can be upsetting. In effect, while far from always the case, its true that symptoms may get worse before they get better.
There is one consistent thing I find with EMDR though. Most clients I see finds the process far, far, less upsetting than they anticipate. They may even find the creativity of their bodymind as it processes and integrates information engaging and surprising. I know I do. I seldom know exactly how a client will bring resources and healing to bear, consciousness is truly a wonderful thing.
The most usual responses from clients after their first EMDR experience is relief, and surprise. It can be uplifting to feel long held distress melt away, leaving more energy and attention for the here and now.
If you suffer from symptoms of post-traumatic stress, or have stuck emotions, thoughts or pains, EMDR may be worth a thought. If you'd like to find out more, get in touch.