A safe, effective approach to reduce trauma symptoms
Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a powerful psychological therapy that helps people to heal from the impact of traumatic or disturbing life events. This type of therapy is recognised as a proven method for recovery for those with PTSD or trauma -related symptoms, some of which include:
irritability/outbursts of anger
intense physical reactions when triggered
strong sense of guilt/shame
misuse of alcohol/drugs/sex eating/gaming
This type of therapy was originally developed to treat the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder for Vietnam war veterans,many of whom suffered from the above symptoms and severe anxiety and phobias. Since its inception EMDR has been used this as a means to treat depression, difficulties in everyday life caused by early events, relationship issues, eating disorders, bullying and types of stress.
When a person may have experienced a distressing event, they may feel overwhelmed and unable to process the information like a normal memory. The distressing memory can become frozen on a neurological level. When a person may recall this type of memory, or become triggered they may re-experience that experience with intense and distressing physiological, emotional and mental reactions.
How does EMDR work?
EMDR works by using bilateral stimulation (engaging both hemispheres of the brain through various forms of stimulation such as eye movements or tapping) to access the deeper store of unconscious memories and beliefs. The mind is as able to heal as the body, and is very quick to do so when given the right circumstances. Through bilateral stimulation, whilst concentrating on the traumatic, anxious or otherwise undesirable feelings, the body and mind are able, bit by bit, to uncover the deeper memories at the root of the current problems. It can then reprocess the painful, negative feelings attached to the memories in a healthy and appropriate way. Often a patient will remember things of great significance; events that they thought they had entirely forgotten. They can make momentous realisations that will alter the way they perceive themselves, bring about seismic shifts in their belief structures and trigger a complete overhaul of their relationship to their own past. They can, in this way, help to rid themselves of the unwanted 'ghosts" of their lives and be free to experience life-enhancing emotions and make more conscious decisions.
We will work closely with you one to one and help relieve the physiological symptoms and bad memories and work with you to guide you forwards in the most positive light. Talking about this should be seen as a first major step in what should be a positive road to recovery. We will support you and give you tools to help you feel more in control of body and mind.
What happens during an EMDR session?
EMDR is a therapeutic process that requires the therapist and client to develop a relationship and understanding of the way the client relates to their trauma. However, it is not always necessary to go over the details of the trauma as this can be re-traumatising. It may take several session before it is considered beneficial to start the EMDR process itself. Before hand you will probably talk about how it has affected you and what you currently do to manage your distress around it. You may also talk about developing new strategies to stay emotionally in control.
During the actual EMDR session you will focus on a trigger and get in touch with where in the body you experience the unease. Then you will simply focus on the therapist's fingers as they move repeatedly across your field of vision at a safe distance, whilst you allow your mind to move with the memories or feelings. that come up. The therapist will guide you through several sets of these and talk to you between each set to see how you are processing your experiences. It is not hypnotism and at all times you will be encouraged to take control of the situation so that it goes at a pace you feel comfortable with.
What will the outcome be?
This is different for everyone, but the aim is that although you will not forget the trauma, you will no longer feel the automatic distress when you think about it. It will seem more distant or remote and you should no longer be triggered into a strong emotional reaction when something related to it crops up for you.
It may take several sessions to full process each trauma, although this is not necessarily so. It usually spends on water the trauma was a single event or happened over a period of time, as well as your normal emotional and mental resilience.
Will my therapist be able to help me?
Our aim is always to support you through your own process to a healthier emotional and mental state. This takes a different amount of time for each person and depends how much time and effort you are able to put into your therapy. EMDR may take just a few sessions if the trauma is a single incident and you felt emotionally strong and stable beforehand.
If you feel that you had struggled with your emotional and/or mental health for much of your life then the therapy would need to become deeper and spread over a period of time to allow you to make changes; talking therapy would become an integral part of the process of EMDR.
It may take several sessions to full process each traumatic incident, although this is not necessarily so. as often unlocking a few seem to then clear the others.
"My relationships were always in chaos. My life was in chaos. My thoughts were in chaos. Now I have order- and I like myself. I have just got married and am so happy. Thank you so much!
Personnel manager 38
‘“The EMDR sessions I had with Helen changed my life. I was struggling every day with intrusive thoughts, flashbacks and negative beliefs about myself. the sessions really helped change all of that. I now have my life and my mind back. I no longer think that it was somehow my fault, and I don’t feel haunted by it anymore. I seriously recombine this therapy to anyone who has suffered from trauma in their life. Helen was kind and understanding and I can’t praise her highly enough."
Cake designer 58
A childhood trauma has affected me all my life and interferes with my relationship. I have tried therapy before, but nothing was quite like the EMDR sessions. I still can't believe that I feel “normal’ now. It's amazing. I feel that I have my mind and body back . And my husband is also overjoyed! I am so truly grateful to you. Thank you."