Online EMDR Therapy
What is EMDR?
The mind can often heal itself naturally, in the same way as the body does.Much of this natural coping mechanism occurs during sleep, particularly during Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep. Francine Shapiro developed Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) in 1987, utilising this natural process in order to successfully treat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Since then, EMDR has been used to effectively treat a wide range of mental health problems.
What happens when you are traumatised?
Most of the time your body manages new information and experiences without you being aware of it. When a traumatic event occurs, it can overwhelm your natural coping mechanism. Prolonged distress (e.g. childhood neglect), can overload your nervouse system. As a result, disturbing experiences remain frozen or ‘unprocessed’ in your brain.
We use language to store memories in the brain’s cortex. Memories are usually stored in a verbal ‘story’ mode. Unprocessed memories and feelings get stored in a raw and emotional form. The limbic system maintains traumatic memories in an isolated memory network. These disconnected memories remain associated with trauma emotions and physical sensations. As a consequence, similar events might trigger the original traumatic memories.
Re-experiencing familiar feelings trigger anxiety, panic, anger and despair in the present moment. This can inhibit your ability to live in the present and learn from new experiences.
Often the memory itself is long forgotten. EMDR Therapy helps create the connections between your brain’s memory networks. This enables your brain to process the traumatic memory in a very natural way.
What is an EMDR session like?
EMDR involves the natural healing ability of your body. A thorough assessment, followed by a guided exploration about a certain disturbing memory. EMDR Therapy recreates eye movements like those experienced during REM sleep. Your therapist will ask you to watch finger movements across your visual field. Sometimes, EMDR Therapy utilises a bar of lights or headphones instead. The eye movements will last for a short while and then stop. You can report back on the experiences you have had during each of these sets of eye movements. Experiences during a session may include changes in thoughts, images and feelings.
With repeated sets of eye movements, the memory tends to change. Unprocessed memories lose its painful intensity. It becomes a neutral memory of an event in the past. Other associated memories may also heal at the same time. Linking of related memories can improve many aspects of your life.
What can EMDR be used for?
In addition to it’s use as a treatment for Port Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) EMDR Therapy is been successful in treating
- Anxiety and Panic Attacks
- Sleep Problems
- Complicated Grief
- Pain Relief and Phantom Limb Pain
- Self Esteem
- Performance Anxiety
Can anyone benefit from EMDR?
How long does treatment take?
EMDR Therapy can be brief focused treatment or part of a longer psychotherapy programme.
EMDR Therapy sessions can be for 60 to 90 minutes.
Will I remain in control and empowered?
During EMDR treatment, you will remain in control, alert and wide awake. This is not a form of hypnosis and you can stop the process at any time. Throughout the session, your therapist will support and ease your own self-healing. Your therapist will intervene as little as possible. Reprocessing is natural and spontaneous. New connections and insights arise from within. As a result, most people experience EMDR as being a natural and very empowering therapy.
What evidence is there that EMDR is a successful treatment?
EMDR Therapy is an innovative clinical treatment. Over a million individuals are successful in recovering from PTSD. Rigorous research establishes the validity and reliability of EMDR Therapy. There are nineteen controlled studies into EMDR Therapy. This makes it the most researched method used in the effective treatment of trauma. National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) recommends EMDR Therapy for PTSD.