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EMDR Explained.....

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Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR)

EMDR (Eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing) is typically known for the treatment of trauma but is now being used to successfully treat individuals in a wide range of conditions such as depression, OCD, phobias and difficulties such as panic attacks and addiction.

How does EMDR treatment help?

EMDR does two very important things; “unlocks” the negative memories and emotions stored in the nervous system, and helps the brain successfully process the experience.

What happens in EMDR Therapy?

In a session of EMDR an individual is asked to bring an unpleasant image, memory or negative belief related to their traumatic event or situation to mind. With these thoughts and images in mind, individuals are also asked to move their eyes side-to-side for several seconds. Afterward, the individual will discuss what was brought up during the exercise. Whatever was brought up can then be used for another exposure exercise. This cycle continues until distress has reduced.

Is EMDR treatment right for you?

EMDR is included as a recommended therapy in the NICE (National Institute for Health & Care Excellence) guidelines for trauma and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and has supported many individuals suffering from the mental health conditions listed below. Advances are constantly being made in the understanding of the neurological and Autonomic Nervous System underpinnings of many psychological conditions. This understanding points at why some of the EMDR protocols appear to have such a remarkable effect on individuals who have previously appeared ‘stuck’ or ‘treatment resistant’.

What does EMDR typically help with?

o Trauma (severe accidents, having been attacked physically/verbally etc.)

o Phobias (e.g. Fear of flying)

o Chronic Pain

o Depression

o Grieving (complex/long lasting gri​ef)

o Attachment Issues (childhood problems like neglect or abuse, leading to difficulties in current relationships)

o Fear of Success/performance enhancement

o Low self-worth

o Anxiety and Panic Attacks


Changing the memories that form the way we see ourselves also changes the way we view others. Therefore, our relationships, job performance, what we are willing to do or are able to resist, all move in a positive direction.”

― Francine Shapiro, Getting Past Your Past: Take Control of Your Life with Self-Help Techniques from EMDR Therapy