What is EMDR?

"There's a place we all have within us that's untouched by trauma & shame, a place that's okay" Mark Nepo

Eye movement desensitistation reprocessing (EMDR) has been developing since 1987 and was first introduced by American psychotherapist Francine Shapiro. EMDR is now recognised as one of the most successful, effective and intensively-researched way of managing the after effects of trauma.  It is a unique therapy that supports people recovering from problems triggered by traumatic events in their lives.


How does it work?

When experiencing a traumatic event the overwhelming emotions around at that time can interfere with the brain’s ability to process the experience and the experience becomes 'frozen in time'. Remembering the event can cause the person to feel as if they are back in the event re-experiencing it all over again. This experience can therefore have an impact every day on the person’s ability to get on with life. It can affect how they see themselves, how they see the world around them and how they relate to others.

What happens?

EMDR works by using bi-lateral stimulation which is very similar to the REM (rapid eye movement) stage of sleep. EMDR stimulates the left and right-hand sides of the brain either by having your eyes follow moving fingers or through tapping to enable the experience to be reframed and moved across from the right side, which is often the feeling side of our brain, to the left side which is more related to logic/reasoning.

It allows the negative emotional charge which has become frozen to be released and processed, enabling the person to have a different perspective on the event in a less distressing way.

For more information on EMDR here is a YouTube video