EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation & Reprocessing)

I often use CBT to formulate a problem and if there are specific memories attached to the problem I will use EMDR.

EMDR is typically used for trauma memories, whether that be your first panic attack, a car accident or a childhood trauma. Your therapist with work to identify specific memories (targets) that drive your symptoms in the here and now. A target will take 4-6 sessions to process.

A target typically has the following features:

  • Image/sensory memory
  • Negative thought
  • Body sensation
  • Emotion

Once you have an agreed target(s) then your therapist will use eye movements or any bi-lateral stimulation such as tapping, whilst you think about that target. This bi-lateral stimulation enables the brain to process the targets fully and desensitise the emotion attached to them. When you can look at a target and feel balanced both emotionally and in your thinking then that target is complete.

EMDR therapy is supported by neurological research trials which have focused on bilateral stimulation and the processing of memories. It is the leading treatment for PTSD and trauma. Research trials are positive for treatment of anxiety, phobias, OCD and long-standing depression beliefs.