Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is an evidence based psychotherapy treatment which helps to access, clear and resolve traumatic memories and other painful life experiences from the past.
The goal of EDMR is to help you to process your traumatic memories in a very natural way by fostering connections between your brains memory networks. This can help you to learn and move on from trauma as opposed to being stuck in and endless loop of thoughts and emotions from the past.
After a thorough assessment, you will be asked specific questions about a particular disturbing memory. Eye movements, similar to those during REM sleep, will be recreated simply by asking you to watch the therapist's finger moving backwards and forwards across your visual field. Sometimes, a bar of moving lights or headphones is used instead. The eye movements will last for a short while and then stop. You will then be asked to report back on the experiences you have had during each of these sets of eye movements.
Experiences during a session may include changes in thoughts, images and feelings. With repeated sets of eye movements, the memory tends to change in such a way that it loses its painful intensity and simply becomes a neutral memory of an event in the past. Other associated memories may also heal at the same time. This linking of related memories can lead to a dramatic and rapid improvement in many aspects of your life.
In each session the therapist will ask you…
1. An image in your mind related to the painful memory.
2. The negative beliefs about yourself you associate with that memory.
3. To describe how that memory makes you feel — both emotionally and physically.
4. And lastly, what positive belief about yourself you would rather have associated with that memory.
Together, you and your therapist will process the disturbing memories from your past. Along your journey you will acquire many new insights, tools and resources. You know that you have processed your traumas when you no longer get triggered emotionally and you are grounded more in your authentic self. EMDR is an exciting and rewarding experience, but expect to work hard!
Contact our Intake Manger, Susan Graham, to learn more about EMDR and the therapists available to provide this therapy.