What is EMDR Therapy?
(The N.I.C.E approved treatment of P.T.S.D. and other stress related issues)
EMDR is an acronym for Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing
EMDR is a psychological treatment method developed by a clinical psychologist, Dr Francine Shapiro.
Although the reasons why EMDR is so effective are still evolving, the process of recalling events whilst using the naturally occurring process of rapid eye movement is key to its success.
A wealth of research has been conducted that support the benefits of EMDR in treating psychological trauma arising from a wide range of experiences such as: Childhood abuse, natural disaster, assault, childbirth, road traffic accidents, workplace accidents.
Research studies have shown that EMDR can markedly accelerate the healing process after a traumatic experience… and that the effects are long lasting. In fact, there is strong evidence that EMDR is more effective in the treatment of P.T.S.D. (Post Traumatic Stress Disorders) than with any other form of psychological treatment.
Not only is EMDR highly effective but generally of shorter duration than other treatment methods. EMDR integrates a range of existing psychological therapies within a comprehensive framework to effect therapeutic change.
How EMDR Works
In short, EMDR therapy accesses and links the multiple facets of memory (image, cognition, emotion, and sensation) and uses bilateral stimulation/dual-attention stimulus (eye movements or tactile or auditory stimulation) in order to decrease disturbance associated with specific incidents in a personâ€™s life. It taps into the brains natural ability to heal and helps it file away memory appropriately so that when the memory is recalled, there is no disturbance associated with the memory.
EMDR 8-Step Process
EMDR is a comprehensive therapeutic approach with principles, protocols and procedures with the goal of reducing distress in the shortest period of time. In the process the distressing memories seem to lose their intensity, so that the memories are less traumatic and seem more like â€˜ordinaryâ€™ memories. The effect is believed to be similar to that which occurs naturally during REM sleep (Rapid Eye Movement) when your eyes rapidly move from side to side. EMDR helps reduce the distress of all the different kinds of memories, whether it was what you saw, heard, smelt, tasted, felt or thought.
Other Ways EDMR Can Help
EMDR has several wonderful applications. In addition to decreasing disturbance associated with trauma, it is effective in decreasing anxiety and targeting irrational or negative thinking, both of which may get in the way of performance. In addition, it can help a person to gain confidence in his or her ability to perform a task or reach a goal.
EMDR works to achieve this by installing positive beliefs, and by having a person imagine doing the thing he or she is nervous to do or wants to improve in while doing bilateral stimulation. This has the effect of simultaneously decreasing the
fear, anxiety, or stress associated with the task and boosting confidence.
A common misconception is that a person has to be struggling with mental health or major life challenges to benefit from EMDR. On the contrary, one of the most interesting and innovative uses of EMDR has been in performance enhancement in addition to its ability to decrease fear, stress, or anxiety related to performance.