Eye Movement De-sensitisation and Re-processing (EMDR) is a powerful psychological treatment method. Research has demonstrated that EMDR shows benefits in the treatment of psychological trauma arising from experiences as diverse as military deployment, childhood sexual and/or physical abuse or neglect, natural disaster, assault, surgical trauma, road traffic accidents and workplace accidents. Since its development, EMDR is also used increasingly to help individuals with other difficulties such as panic, phobia, pain and performance anxiety. EMDR has been found to be of benefit to children as well as adults.
EMDR focuses on recalling images. Therefore it involves less talking than other therapies. You are asked to hold an image in mind whilst the therapist uses bi-lateral stimulation – such as tracking a light or the therapist’s finger from side to side or alternate hand tapping. Bilateral stimulation helps the brain to process the memory so as to render it more manageable and less overwhelming. There are frequent, regular breaks during this treatment process to check for any new thoughts or feelings that may arise. EMDR works by effectively freeing up memories, thoughts and feelings at might have become stuck and so facilitates the brain’s natural ability to adaptively process experiences.