Eye Movement Desensitisation & Reprocessing (EMDR)


What is EMDR?

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing) is a treatment method developed by an American clinical psychologist Dr. Francine Shapiro in the 1980’s which utilises the body’s own natural healing resources to help people recover from traumatic or unresolved life experiences.  EMDR is recommended by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in combination with Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).  Since its original development EMDR has also been increasingly used to treat a wide range of other mental health problems including:
  •          Anxiety and panic attacks
  •          Depression
  •          Stress
  •          Phobias
  •          Sleep problems
  •          Complicated grief
  •          Self-esteem and performance anxiety

How does it work?

A detailed history is taken and a treatment plan prepared including a preparation phase in which safety is established and internal resources developed as needed.  Working on agreed targets the client then attends to emotionally disturbing material in short sequential doses while at the same time focusing on an external stimulus, most commonly therapist directed eye movements or other bilateral stimulus such as hand tapping or audio sounds.   The alternating left-right stimulation of the brain seems to stimulate the frozen or blocked information processing system.   In the processing, distressing memories seem to lose their intensity so that memories are less distressing and become more like ‘ordinary’ memories.  This effect is believed to be similar to that which occurs naturally in REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep.  Processing can also focus on present triggers or anticipated future experiences thus helping people to move forward in their lives more confidently.

For more information on EMDR see http://emdrassociation.org.uk and http://emdr-europe.org.

The Next Step

EMDR is available in Thriplow (near Cambridge and Royston).
If you would like to make an appointment or would like further details, please contact Wendy by telephone: 01763 208916 or email.   If I am unable to come to the phone an answer machine will be in operation. Please do leave a message and I will return your call as soon as possible.