How EMDR Can Heal You

Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprocessing (EMDR)

EMDR is a treatment for mental health conditions caused by traumatic or negative events. EMDR is best known for its role in treating PTSD but it’s use has expanded to many other conditions.

What is EMDR?

EMDR is a mental health treatment method. The method involves bilateral stimulation with eye movement, tactile tapping or using sounds. The bilateral stimulation activates the right and left hemispheres of the mind which ‘reprocesses’ a memory.  EMDR’s goal is to activate the bodies inbuilt healing function to heal from trauma. The first clinical trial testing EMDR was in 1989 and there have been many trials done since to demonstrate the validity and effectiveness of this technique. The method can also help a person faster than traditional talk therapy.

How does it work?

Traditional psychotherapy relies on content from a client. EMDR is process orientated meaning it doesn’t need a lot of concentration on the client’s problem. It is more focused on the healing process itself.

There are eight phases to EMDR. The first three are assessment and set up phases to ensure the client remains in control and comfortable throughout. The client is resourced and grounded so when challenged (by difficult memories or sensations) they remain within their window of tolerance.

Phase four is when the client’s healing state is activated. The client is asked to bring to mind a memory or sensation associated with the trauma or negative event. The coach begins 20-30 bilateral stimulations on the client, stops and then asks the client “what came up for you?”. The client shares images or sensation that came up. The first set is complete. The coach then begins the next set of *bilateral stimulation. The number of sets per session will vary.

The reprocessing ‘repairs’ the mental injury caused by the trauma. Remembering what happened to you will no longer feel like reliving it and the related emotions will become more manageable.

At some point during the sets, you’ll begin to feel better and think better about the problem. Sometimes the client is pleasantly surprised by how quickly they’ve been able to shift from negative thoughts to positive thoughts and feelings over the course of a session. They reframe the experience and begin to express the benefits, the learning and how the experience has shaped them into a much better person. However, it’s not necessary for the client to express too much because we don’t want the analytical part of the mind to become activated or dominant.

Phases five to eight is when the clients preferred positive beliefs are installed using a slightly slower bilateral stimulation. A body scan (meditative) and a closure exercise is offered to ensure the client is emotionally regulated.

Who can have EMDR?

EMDR can help with a wide range of mental health conditions. Adults, Teenagers and Adolescents can all benefit from EMDR. Some specialists work with children too.

Which conditions can EMDR help with?

  • Generalised anxiety (low confidence, low self-belief, low self-esteem)

  • Panic Disorder (excessive anger, social anxiety)

  • Changing unwanted behaviour

  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

  • Single Traumatic Event

  • Recent Traumatic Event

  • Somatic Symptoms

  • Excessive Grief

  • Phobia

  • Addiction

  • Pain

  • Dentist fear

  • Allergy

  • Children/Adolescents

If you want to be sure if EMDR is right for you then please call to discuss.

Why is this treatment used?

EMDR doesn’t require talking in detail about distressing issues. Instead, it focuses on changing the emotions, thoughts and behaviours that result from a trauma or negative experience. It’s a manageable way to become desensitised to the trauma so it doesn’t affect you so intensely moving forward.

The way your mind works relies on the structure of your brain. That structure relies on networks of communicating brain cells across different areas especially the sections that involve memories and senses. That’s why sights, sounds, images, tastes and feels brings back memories.

What are the advantages?

It works! Dozens of studies have concluded that it works and it’s efficacy is advocated by Bessel Van Der Kirk, trauma expert who wrote ‘The Body Keeps The Score’.

It works faster than any other forms of therapy

Recovery time is minimal between sessions

It involves less homework. Apart from resourcing and grounding exercise the client doesn’t need to do anything outside of sessions.

It’s usually less stressful. EMDR works to process and move past your trauma. Other methods involve you having to describe in detail what happened to you.

What are the disadvantages?

It only works with conditions related to traumatic experiences. If you have inherited a mental health condition, have brain injury or other physical effect on the brain, it is unlikely to help.

It’s a new method relatively speaking. Much more time and research are necessary to know if it’s a long term solution or if additional therapy will be required in the future.

How I can help you?

Your mind and body is ready and waiting to be healed! EMDR activates the right and left hemisphere of the brain meaning both the emotional and the rational parts of the mind respond simultaneously making for a powerful session! EMDR is an effective way to compassionately enquire on what has caused or created unhealthy thoughts, feelings and behaviours. We work with memories and sensations so there is no need to share too much on the background of an event which is unique and comforting. Your guided throughout to uncover which unmet needs are being met in an unhealthy way. From this vantage point we’re able to begin to install positive beliefs that support the life you wish to create and sustain. Find out more by booking a FREE call with me.

Ready to begin your healing journey?

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