Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a treatment that was originally designed by Francine Shapiro in 1987 to alleviate the distress associated with traumatic memories. Since then, EMDR therapy has been used effectively to treat troubling symptoms such as anxiety, depression, guilt, anger, and post-traumatic reactions.
EMDR therapy pairs specific psychological protocols with eye movements (or other forms of bilateral stimulations), enabling your brain to heal from traumatic memories. It actually reproduces natural healing processes usually occurring during our sleep.
WHAT IS EMDR THERAPY?
"When a disturbing event occurs, it can get locked in the brain with the original picture, sounds, thoughts, feelings and body sensations. EMDR procedures seem to stimulate the information and allow the brain to reprocess the experience. It is your own brain that will be doing the healing and you are the one in control".
(EMDR Training Institute)
WHO CAN BENEFIT FROM EMDR THERAPY?
EMDR therapy is recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO), the American Psychological Association (APA) and by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) as an effective treatment for trauma for children, adolescents and adults.
EMDR therapy is used to address adverse life experiences that contribute to disruptive symptoms in present living. In addition to trauma, it has been successful to treat:
- anxiety and panic attacks,
- performance anxiety and self-esteem issues.
Nonetheless EMDR therapy might not be always adapted to your situation and stage of recovery: it is not appropriate for everyone. We will follow specific procedures to assess your presenting issues, emotional regulation abilities, and other factors. These standardised clinical procedures ensure your safety and the efficacy of any EMDR therapy treatment.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
How long does treatment take?
EMDR therapy can be brief focused treatment or part of a longer psychotherapy program, according to your presenting difficulties. Sessions typically last from 60 to 90 minutes.
It is really difficult for me to explain what happened. Will I have to be specific about the trauma I've experienced?
Discussing the details of a traumatic experience is not required in EMDR sessions: the anxiety associated with confronting and revealing those details may be alleviated. EMDR Therapy carries less risk of "re-exposure" trauma (re-experiencing) than other therapies.
What evidence is there that EMDR therapy is successful?
The validity and reliability of EMDR has been established by rigorous research: it is one of the most thoroughly researched method used in the treatment of trauma. You may read details on the website of the EMDR Institute.
WHAT IS AN EMDR SESSION LIKE?
We will follow a standardised protocol, but EMDR therapy is a different experience for everyone: the healing process is guided from within. After a thorough phase of assessment, you will be asked specific questions about current concerns and related disturbing memories. Eye movements will be recreated by asking you to watch the therapist's fingers moving backwards and forwards across your visual field.
Sometimes past issues or memories come up, which are related to the current concern. These may also be treated with EMDR therapy. Sometimes a painful memory brings up unpleasant emotions or body sensations. This is normal and generally passes within a few minutes, when the EMDR therapy continues. With repeated sets of eye movements, the disturbing memory tends to change and lose its painful intensity. Associated memories may also heal at the same time, or with each session, which can lead to drastic improvements in your present life.