EMDR stands for eye-movement desensitisation and reprocessing therapy, and is one of the leading trauma therapies today.
It is recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines for treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), following birth for example. It’s also used more widely to resolve symptoms and negative thoughts linked to any past disturbing event, and is used to treat worry/anxiety, depression, phobias and help with grief.
EMDR works on the basis that in everyone there exists an ‘information processing system’ that naturally links to well-being. Suffering is caused when the system is ‘blocked’ by the impact of a disturbing emotional event. EMDR aims to ‘process’ this, allowing you brain to resolve the issues, as it naturally knows how to do.
The unblocking facilitates healing and improved everyday functioning. Therapy focuses on developing positive resources, resolving past traumas (big and small), and changing patterns of behaviour.
I have expertise in adapting EMDR for when problems arise in the perinatal period (the time around pregnancy, birth and early parenthood).
If EMDR is recommended:
- I will initially explain the approach, as using eye movements can feel quite different to other types of talking therapy.
- We will develop resources and positive coping skills, seeing the body as a resource for greater emotional stability.
- Therapy then progresses towards identifying roots of disturbance in form of disturbing events, or current triggers that keep reactivating patterns.
- When you feel comfortable I will ask you to visualise part of the traumatic event in detail whilst engaging in other stimulation (such 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.