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What is EMDR Therapy?

EMDR stands for Eye-Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing, and is one of the leading trauma therapies today.

EMDR is a transformatory psychotherapy

EMDR helps people to heal from past disturbing events.

EMDR stands for Eye-Movement and Desensitisation Reprocessing. EMDR is a powerful psychotherapy. The premise of EMDR is that we all have a brain that is naturally capable of processing distressing events. Sometimes however this process can become stuck when something overwhelming happens to us. This might be a big traumatic event, such as baby loss, or lots of smaller distressing events, such as bullying or repeated ruptures in our early relationships. EMDR therapy uses bilateral stimulation to ‘process’ these earlier events, as our brain naturally knows how to, helping to reduce current distress, and improving functioning in the here and now.

EMDR therapy is recommended by numerous organisations including the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) for treating trauma, following birth or a traumatic bereavement for example. It also has a growing evidence base more widely to help people with anxiety, depression, phobias, grief and mourning.

As an accredited EMDR practitioner, it is one of my main therapy approaches. EMDR therapy has transformed my psychological therapy practice; for years as a Clinical Psychologist I taught people how to manage distress. Now, as an EMDR therapist, I’m more equipped to help people heal.

EMDR therapy explained

What to expect with EMDR therapy

If EMDR is recommended:

  • I will initially explain the approach, as it might feel different to other types of therapy.
  • We will develop resources and positive coping skills so you can feel safe thinking about what happened.
  • We identify past events which are affecting you.
  • When you feel comfortable I will ask you to visualise part of the traumatic event in detail whilst engaging in other stimulation (such as tracking the movement of my hand, tapping alternate hands or listening to noises). This leads to changes in how you think and feel about the traumatic incident, reducing distress and improving everyday functioning.

I am well used to adapting EMDR therapy to help people in the perinatal period, which is the time around pregnancy, birth and early parenthood. EMDR therapy also works online so you can have sessions from the comfort and convenience of your own home.

You can find out more about EMDR therapy by reading my article ‘EMDR Therapy: Changing the way memories live in us‘. You can also take a look at the EMDR Association UK for information. Or click here to watch an interview with BBC radio presenter Jameela Jamil talking about her own experience of having EMDR therapy.

Deciding to have therapy is the most important first step towards looking after your mental health. It can be confusing to know what type of approach feels like the right fit. Contact me and I will help you every step of the way.

Dr Miriam Inder – Helping you have Better Beginnings