Wealden Counselling and Psychotherapy Service

What is EMDR?

Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing is a treatment whose theoretical base is information processing, how the brain ‘deals with’ information.

Old disturbing memories can be stored in the brain in isolation; they get locked into the nervous system with the original images, sounds, thoughts and feelings involved.  The old distressing material just keeps getting triggered over and over again.  This prevents learning/healing from taking place.  In another part of your brain, you already have most of the information you need to resolve this problem; the two just cannot connect.  Once EMDR starts, a linking takes place.  New information can come to mind and resolve the old problems.  This may be what happens spontaneously in REM or dream sleep when eye movements help to process unconscious material.

During EMDR  the client brings to awareness past and present experiences which are then followed by sets of bilateral stimulation – most usually side-to-side eye movements, but sometimes alternating auditory (sound) tones through a headphone or tactile (touch) sensations through a thumb and finger pad.

Once the eye movements, or alternative, cease, the client is instructed to let material come to awareness without attempting to ‘make anything’ happen. This alternate attention to internal recollections and external stimulus is called ‘dual attention’. This sequence of dual attention and personal association is repeated many times in the session.

After EMDR processing, clients generally report that the emotional distress related to the memory has been eliminated, or greatly decreased, and that they have gained important cognitive insights. Importantly, these emotional and cognitive changes usually result in spontaneous behavioural and personal change, which are further enhanced with standard EMDR procedures.

EMDR is proving extremely helpful in the treatment of the effects of abuse, post traumatic stress disorder or ptsd, and for the recovery of victims of traumatic events.

All our EMDR therapists are fully qualified counsellors or psychotherapists and are fully trained in EMDR by EMDR Accredited trainers. They are all supervised by EMDR Accredited Consultants.

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