EMDR is an innovative clinical treatment that has successfully helped millions of individuals who have experienced trauma, anxiety, post traumatic stress, panic attacks, disturbing memories, and many other emotional problems.
What is EMDR?
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) was discovered by Dr Francine Shapiro a psychologist based in the USA. She observed that specific eye movements appeared to reduce the strength of disturbing thoughts in some clients. Since then, numerous clinical trials have shown that EMDR is an effective treatment for a range of problems.
How does EMDR work?
When we encounter disturbing experiences the memories and images are normally processed by the brain in a way that allows us to heal and move on from the experience. However, sometimes an event can be so distressing that the brain is overwhelmed and unable to process the experience. When this happens the memory of the event can feel like it has become frozen and the individual may experience the memory and its associated feelings over and over again
Simply put, EMDR helps to ‘unfreeze’ or unblock the unprocessed memory. The therapy does not require drugs or any kind of invasive procedure.
Who can be helped by EMDR?
EMDR has been used for the treatment of people who have been exposed to one or more traumatic events such as violence, disasters, crimes, sexual assault and other traumas and who may be suffering from Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
The National Centre for Clinical Excellence (NICE) which is responsible for establishing the most effective treatment for a particular disorder (both psychological therapies and medication) states that the only recommended psychological treatments for PTSD are CBT and EMDR.
For children and young people with PTSD, trauma-focused CBT is usually recommended rather than EMDR.
EMDR may also be useful for the following:
- Domestic violence
- Childhood abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Violent crimes
- Witness to violence
- Childhood trauma
- Combat trauma
- Panic Attacks