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Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprocessing (EMDR)

For some people a traumatic event that they have been involved in or witnessed can leave them traumatised. Examples of this are road traffic accidents, sexual, physical and emotional abuse, assault, combat experiences, and sudden shock. Typical traumatic reactions are flashbacks, panic attacks, sleep disturbance, nightmares, startle response, heightened arousal, difficulty in concentrating and anxiety. Emotions are normally processed during dreaming sleep when there is rapid eye movement (REM). Sometimes traumatic events have not been properly processed which results in the person re experiencing the trauma. For example, being in a car accident can cause PTSD. EMDR enables the person to process traumatic memories and neutralise the accompanying emotions.

EMDR can be an effective therapy for people in war zones or who are affected by their experiences in natural or people made disasters.

EMDR Therapy can help those people who experience secondary trauma. Witnessing a violent incident, seeing a friend or colleague killed or maimed in combat, or activists and aid workers in the field effected by those caught up in wars and natural disasters.

EMDR has developed to be very effective for alleviating many conditions and distressing symptoms, such as depression, complex bereavement and loss, eating disorders, phobias, anxiety, relationship difficulties and issues, bullying, travel problems, such as flying, pain, and attachment disorders, EMDR is also used to aid athletes, performers and executives to reach their goals, improving confidence and self esteem. EMDR addresses the past, present and future.

EMDR uses the natural phenomenon of Rapid Eye Movement (REM) that occurs during dreaming sleep. EMDR was invented by the Psychologist Francine Shapiro in 1987, whilst walking in a park. She realised that her anxiety about her distressing thoughts lessened with bilateral eye movements. She then developed a procedure to use with patients suffering with PTSD. It was found, for example,  to be more effective at desensitising anxiety than other therapies including cognitive behavioural therapy.The standard protocol is three pronged with eight phases.Each session should be for between 60-90 minutes. 

EMDR Therapy is a transformational approach assisting the brain to re-consolidate memory. Memories, anxieties, emotions  and difficulties are processed until they are neutralised and the incident or event is associated with positive thoughts and feelings. People do not have to re-live the trauma in detail. It is an empowering, strength based and collaborative approach. EMDR is well tolerated by children and young people. 

EMDR is recommended by the NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence-UK) government guidelines for treatment of trauma for adults and after CBT for children.

For further information on the clinical effectiveness of EMDR go to: www.emdr.com/studies

The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends EMDR Therapy for the treatment of trauma (2013). It is one of only two therapies recommended for the treatment of trauma for children, adolescents and adults. 

EMDR Therapy has been declared an effective form of trauma treatment by the American Psychiatric Association , the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies and the Departments of Defence and Veteran Affairs.    

Client feedback: "Just a note to say thank you very much for helping X overcome his fear of choking. He often mentions how, with the help of both of you (….. and the EMDR) that he was able to start eating solid food again. This is obviously a huge relief to us and we are now pretty much back to normal again-well done and thank you! M, R, L, M and X."

Client Feedback: "Before EMDR I wasn't sleeping well, getting panic attacks, over reacting to confrontation, had such low self esteem and was highly stressed. I had spent so much time struggling with not understanding why I couldn't get my emotions under control. The sessions were scary to start with, unsure how I would feel, if it was the right thing for me, but now I feel like I am back in control. I sleep without panic attacks. I can be calm in challenging situations and deal with things in a much more normal way. It was amazing. Life is still a challenge every day but now I meet it head on instead of feeling overwhelmed. Rosie was great at listening to me and keeping the sessions focused and comfortable. I feel like me again and I really missed me."