EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing. It is an evidenced based therapy which is recognised by NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) and WHO (World Health Organisation). It is best known for its treatment of PTSD but it has also shown to be effective for other mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, stress and self- esteem issues. EMDR helps individuals reprocess disturbing memories of events which have caused them difficulties. The aim of reprocessing is to reduce the persons’ distress related to the memory so it has less impact on their everyday life.
EMDR involves a detailed assessment and then moves onto a preparation phase. The reprocessing phase will then begin and works by asking the person to recall the disturbing event while either tapping their hands, moving their eyes from side-to-side or hearing a sound in each ear for a short period of time. After each set the individual is asked to explain what images and feelings they have experienced. During this process the emotional intensity linked to the memory reduces and the memory becomes stored in a more helpful way. The number of sessions you will need will depend on the nature and complexity of your difficulties.
If you would like to find out more about EMDR then the following resources might be helpful.
Animation to explain EMDR Therapy and Trauma to Adults. https://emdrassociation.org.uk
National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE), www.nice.org.uk
The Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), http://www.hcpc-uk.org/