EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing)

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing)

What is EMDR?

EDMR is a new proven psychotherapy technique used to successfully help people suffering from trauma, anxiety, Depression, Confidence and Self esteem, Post Traumatic Stress, abuse disturbing memories, phobias, panic and other emotional problems. Quick and long-lasting relief for most types of distress can be achieved as a result of this innovative and simplistic therapy.

EMDR is a psychotherapy that enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing life experiences.  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, I will help clients activate their natural healing processes.

Given the worldwide recognition as an effective treatment of trauma, you can easily see how EMDR therapy would be effective in treating the “everyday” memories that are the reason people have low self-esteem, feelings of powerlessness, and all the myriad problems that bring them in for therapy.

How does EMDR work?

Studies have shown that when a person is very upset, their brain cannot process information as it does normally. A traumatic memory can become ‘frozen in time’ and remembering the event causes them to re-experience what they saw, smelt, heard, felt or tasted and be significantly distressing.

During an EMDR session these emotional experiences that have become trapped in the brain are released through the process of bilateral stimulation, right/left eye movement, sounds or taps. As such the distressing memories lose their intensity and become more like an ordinary memory and are therefore are not upsetting. The effect of EMDR is thought to be similar to that what occurs naturally during REM (rapid eye movement) sleep when the eyes move from left to right.

What happens during an EMDR session?

During the session (which will last between 60-90 minutes) I will ask you to recall your traumatic experience and ask you to recall your feelings, memories and negative thoughts. I will then ask you to track the movement of my fingers as they move from left to right, the more intensely you focus the easier it will become for your memory to come to life. These disturbing memories and feelings are exchanged for more loving, peaceful and resolved feelings after processing by the eye movements as the vibrant images arise.

EMDR is not a form of hypnosis and you will remain awake and in control throughout.

EMDR therapy is an eight-phase treatment.  Eye movements (or other bilateral stimulation) are used during one part of the session.  After I have determined which memory to target first, he asks the client to hold different aspects of that event or thought in mind and to use his eyes to track the therapist’s hand as it moves back and forth across the client’s field of vision.  Unlike talk therapy, the insights clients gain in EMDR therapy result not so much from clinician interpretation, but from the client’s own accelerated intellectual and emotional processes.  The net effect is that clients conclude EMDR therapy feeling empowered by the very experiences that once debased them.  Their wounds have not just closed, they have transformed. As a natural outcome of the EMDR therapeutic process, the clients’ thoughts, feelings and behaviour are all robust indicators of emotional health and resolution—all without speaking in detail or doing homework used in other therapies.

Treatment Description:

EMDR therapy involves attention to three time periods:  the past, present, and future.  Focus is given to past disturbing memories and related events.  Also, it is given to current situations that cause distress, and to developing the skills and attitudes needed for positive future actions.  With EMDR therapy, these items are addressed using an eight-phase treatment approach. Sessions can last 60-90minutes.

Phase 1:  The first phase is a history-taking session(s).

Phase 2:  During the second phase of treatment, I will ensure that the client has several different ways of handling emotional distress.

Phases 3-6:  In phase’s three to six, a target is identified and processed using EMDR therapy procedures.  In addition, the client identifies a positive belief.

Phase 7:  In phase seven, closure, I will ask the client to keep a log during the week.

Phase 8:  The next session begins with phase eight.  Phase eight consists of examining the progress made thus far.  The EMDR treatment processes all related historical events, current incidents that elicit distress, and future events that will require different responses.