Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing
EMDR Therapy UK
What is EMDR & how does it work?
EMDR, an acronym for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, is a form of therapy that empowers individuals to heal after experiencing emotional distress, often caused by traumatic experiences. The overarching goal of EMDR therapy is to restore patients to a state of normalcy, happiness, and security.
A common myth among mental trauma recovery is that time heals all wounds. Recent research, however, has discovered that disturbing events tend to play out in our minds, preventing recovery repeatedly. As a result, we develop a mental block that prohibits healing.
This video from the EMDR association explains how EMDR works
EMDR effectively removes this mental block, allowing our minds to recover naturally.
EMDR has been used as a viable treatment (approved by the NHS and the world health organisation) option for the mental aftermath associated with the following:
Overwhelming fear over something. e.g. holes, colours, animals attacking, driving or flying
Depression fuelled by anxiety
Ticks or stammers
Avoidance of things or certain situations
Phobias. e.g. unable to swallow, going to school, freezing in work meetings
Significant traumas like rape, sexual abuse, accidents, witnessing significant events etc
Feelings of inadaquacy or vunerability
EMDR uses powerful techniques and coping skills to help clients move forward despite former adversity. The process involves patients identifying images or thoughts (resulting from painful memories) while their therapist uses body language, hand motions, and external tools to overcome the struggles of the patient.
EMDR With Children
When children receive EMDR therapy, they go through a similar process (listed above). In essence, they think about the negative experiences that have impacted them while moving their eyes. When negative experiences harm children, numerous thoughts, feelings, memories, and sensory experiences can trigger recollection of the memory. EMDR helps children cope with their past by piecing together the messy and confusing memories into one coherent picture. As a result, children can learn how to overcome their emotions while leaving room for the development of positive memories in the years to come.
As we have discovered first-hand throughout the pandemic, virtual meetings and connections are a viable solution for businesses, relationships, and overall communication. Online EMDR therapy works similarly to in-person treatment, provided that participants have a reliable internet connection and equipment.
Online EMDR provides a secure patient-to-therapist connection that accomplishes the same goals of traditional EMDR. By using audible and visual cues, the patient can experience the same healing benefits described above.