EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing and it is an interactive psychotherapy technique used to relieve psychological stress. It is a technique which was designed by Dr Francine Shapiro in the 1980s who discovered that by moving her eyes backwards and forwards she lessened any distressing thoughts.
EMDR can be used to lessen the effects of PTSD and other trauma such as loss, pain, accidents, relationship issues, fears, phobias, allergies and addictions. This way of working is particularly effective for those who struggle to talk about past experiences.
What happens in EMDR
The first session is a time to discuss the thoughts and feelings that you wish to reprocess although you do not have to reveal all the details of a traumatic experience if that is difficult for you.
We will prepare you for treatment by teaching you some techniques to calm you and deal with any emotions that arise. We will also demonstrate and let you experience the different ways that EMDR can be administered, for example we can use eye movement or tapping of the legs and hands which ever you prefer. (Since COVID-19 we have adapted our practice to enable 2 metre social distancing. We use currently an EMDR kit which uses hand paddles as well as a light tube which will replicate the eye movements and hand tapping. These methods are proving to be effective. In the first session you can try out both methods.)
In the second session we use the chosen EMDR method to reprocess the memories or experiences you have previously outlined.
Each session lasts between 60 and 90 minutes. The number of sessions required varies but is usually between 4 and 6.