Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR)

EMDR is a therapy that can help you to recover from distressing past events that are affecting your psychological wellbeing.EMDR is best known for using side-to-side eye movements, and talking, to help process distressing images, emotions, beliefs, and body sensations that stem from the original traumatic event.EMDR doesn’t get rid of distressing memories, instead it aids recovery by helping the brain to reprocesses the memory so that it is no longer as powerful. It also helps to desensitise the memory so that it’s possible to remember the event without experiencing such strong emotions.

EMDR has a specific structure and together, you and your therapist, will work through several different stages. The first of these is to understand your current difficulties and how these have been shaped by your past experiences. Together you and your therapist will consider whether EMDR is a suitable therapy for your problems and if so, therapy will start by preparing you for the process. During the reprocessing phase of therapy, your therapist will ask you to recall a distressing event while simultaneously moving your eyes back and forth or feeling a tap on each hand. These side-to-side movements seem to restart the processing system in the brain so that it can reprocess the information. Some research suggests that concentrating on another task, such as eye movements or taps, while remembering a distressing event gives the brain more work to do. Because the brain is not giving its full attention to the memory, the memory begins to become less vivid**.This helps the event to be remembered in a more manageable way.Following the reprocessing stage, therapy will pivot to focusing on the future and preparing for the end of therapy.

Research has shown that EMDR can be very effective and quickly lead to a reduction in symptoms and EMDR is recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). Therapy sessions last 60 minutes for an assessment and 90 minutes for reprocessing sessions. Typically, therapy lasts between 6 and 12 sessions although people who have experienced multiple trauma’s may require a longer period of therapy.

EMDR is currently offered by Dr Helen Lewis.

Please contact us for more information.