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What is EMDR therapy?

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing) is a a psychotherapy approach that has been shown to be effective in treating trauma and other mental health conditions. It is a relatively new therapy, having been developed in the late 1980s by Francine Shapiro, PhD.


EMDR therapy is based on the idea that traumatic memories are often stored in the brain in a way that makes them difficult to process and heal from. This can lead to a variety of symptoms, such as flashbacks, nightmares, anxiety, and depression. EMDR therapy works by helping the brain to reprocess these memories in a way that allows them to be integrated and healed.


During EMDR therapy, the client will focus on a traumatic memory while simultaneously engaging in bilateral stimulation (BLS). This can be done through eye movements, tapping on the hands or body, or listening to alternating tones in each ear. The BLS helps to activate both sides of the brain, which is thought to facilitate the reprocessing of the traumatic memory.


The EMDR therapy process typically involves eight phases:


History: The therapist will gather information about the client's history, including any traumatic experiences they have had.

Preparation: The therapist will teach the client about EMDR therapy and how to use BLS.

Assessment: The therapist will help the client to identify a specific traumatic memory to focus on.

Desensitization: The client will focus on the traumatic memory while engaging in BLS. The therapist will ask the client to rate the intensity of the emotions associated with the memory on a scale of 0 to 10. The goal is to reduce the intensity of the emotions to a level of 0 or 1.

Installation: The client will focus on a positive belief about themselves while engaging in BLS. The goal is to help the client to internalize this positive belief.

Body Scan: The client will scan their body for any remaining physical sensations associated with the traumatic memory.

Closure: The client will complete the session by grounding themselves and bringing themselves back to the present moment.

Reevaluation: At the beginning of the next session, the therapist will check in with the client to see how they are doing and to identify any new traumatic memories that may need to be processed.

EMDR therapy can be a very effective treatment for trauma and other mental health conditions. However, it is important to note that it is not a quick fix. It can take several sessions to see results. It is also important to work with a qualified EMDR therapist.


Here are some of the benefits of EMDR therapy:


It can help to reduce the symptoms of trauma, such as flashbacks, nightmares, anxiety, and depression.

It can help to improve mood and self-esteem.

It can help to increase resilience and coping skills.

It can help people to feel more in control of their lives.

Contact me to find out more and to book sessions. Ric. 

Find out more here EMDR

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