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What is EMDR?


EMDR (Eye movement desensitisation reprocessing) is a form of psychotherapy that was developed in the 1980's by an American psychologist, Dr Francine Shapiro.

How can it help?

For some people, when they experience a trauma or another distressing event, they can become overwhelmed and the brain is unable to process this as a standard memory.  When this experience is brought back to the forefront of their mind, this often forces them to relive the event with the same intensity - the person can re-experience smells, sounds, images and even how they felt during this event.  It can feel like it's taking place in the present moment and may present as flashbacks or nightmares.  The unprocessed memories can be accessed when something in everyday life triggers a recollection of the original event.  Sometimes the memories can appear without any warning.

EMDR therapy aims to help you process these traumatic memories, reducing their impact and helping you develop healthy coping mechanisms. This is done through an eight-phase approach to address the past, present, and future aspects of stored memory. This involves recalling distressing events while receiving 'bilateral sensory input', including side to side eye movements, tapping and sounds.  The eye movements are similar to the effect of what happens when we experience REM sleep (rapid eye movement).

While it isn't possible to erase these memories completely, the process of eye movement desensitisation reprocessing (EMDR) can alter the way these traumatic memories are stored within the brain - allowing distressing elements to be processed and making them easier to manage.

In addition to PTSD, EMDR can also be used to treat a wide range of issues such as anxiety and panic attacks, depression, stress, phobias, low self-esteem and addictions.

I am a qualified EMDR Therapist and completed my training with an accredited training provider.  If you would like to book an initial assessment or for more information please get in touch.

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