EMDR Therapy (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing)
When traumatic events occur, the body's natural cognitive and neurological coping mechanisms can be overwhelmed and subsequently the memory is inadequately processed and stored in an isolated network.
The goal of EMDR therapy is to properly process these traumatic memories, reducing their impact and helping clients to develop coping mechanisms. This is done through an eight-phase approach to address the past, present, and future aspects of a stored memory, requiring clients to recall distressing events while receiving bilateral sensory input, including:
side to side eye movements
The therapy is used to treat a wide range of psychological difficulties that typically originate in trauma, such as direct or indirect experiences of violence, accidents or natural disaster. EMDR therapy is also used to treat more prolonged, low-grade distress that originates in shock or loss in adult life and/or issues experienced during childhood.
The experiences outlined above often lead to a post-traumatic stress disorder diagnosis, for which EMDR has been recommended by the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE).