what is EMDR?
Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy is a very powerful and effective psychological treatment for trauma and is recommended by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) for the treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
It was developed by American Psychologist Francine Shapiro in the 1980s. It has been very well researched since its development and has been found to significantly benefit people that have difficulty adjusting to traumatic experiences. Traumatic experiences can become stuck in our memories with the associated feelings and physical sensations that occurred during the original traumatic event.
These memories are then experienced as if they are happening now and can be in the form of nightmares, flashbacks or intrusive images. Often the memories are so disturbing that people may try to avoid thinking about them but will often find that the memories are triggered by things that remind them of the event or just pop into their mind unexpectedly.
EMDR therapy allows this traumatic information to be processed so that it is remembered without the associated feelings and physical sensations. It becomes like a normal memory where the person is aware that the event happened and that it was a difficult experience but it does not feel like it is happening now.
What can EMDR help with?
EMDR is very effective in the treatment of traumatic experiences which can result from a single, deeply distressing life event or by a series of difficult events.
Causes of trauma include:
War related experiences
Difficult childhood experiences and abuse
Loss and bereavement
Experiencing or witnessing violence
Road traffic accident
Bullying at school or work
EMDR can also be effective in the treatment of phobias, anxiety and depression.
For further information on EMDR visit the EMDR UK website: www.emdrassociation.org.uk