Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprocessing
The mind can often heal itself naturally, in the same way as the body does. Much of this natural coping mechanism occurs during sleep, particularly during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. Francine Shapiro developed Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) in 1987, utilising this natural process in order to successfully treat Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Since then, EMDR has been used to effectively treat a wide range of mental health problems and is now a recommended therapy for PTSD and Complex Trauma by NICE ( National Institute of Clinical Excellence ).
EMDR Therapy (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing) is a powerful therapeutic approach which enables the brain to heal memories of distressing past experiences, which at the time were not adequately processed and filed away. These "stuck" memories can give rise to difficulties, such as anxiety or low self-esteem, which may surface many years later. By stimulating the brain's natural self-healing abilities, EMDR therapy appears to enable the nervous system to process, or "file", the memory, by connecting the part of the brain where the memory is stored with another part, which has the useful information necessary to resolve the problem. This results in a reduction in distressing symptoms, including flashbacks and triggers, and a more neutral or helpful perspective on the past experience.
How long does treatment take?
EMDR can be brief focused treatment or part of a longer psychotherapy programme. EMDR sessions can be for 60 to 90 minutes.
Will I will remain in control and empowered?
During EMDR treatment, you will remain in control, fully alert and wide-awake. This is not a form of hypnosis and you can stop the process at any time. Throughout the session, the therapist will support and facilitate your own self-healing and intervene as little as possible. Reprocessing is usually experienced as something that happens spontaneously, and new connections and insights are felt to arise quite naturally from within. As a result, most people experience EMDR as being a natural and very empowering therapy.