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  • Writer's picturetraceymbrittain

Understanding EMDR in 30 seconds: A Simple Guide

What is EMDR?

·      EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing.

·      It is a psychotherapy technique used to help people recover from trauma and other distressing life experiences.

·      The world health organisation (WHO) and major countries health authorities recognise EMDR as a credible and well researched technique.


How does EMDR work?

·      EMDR involves recalling traumatic memories while engaging in bilateral stimulation, such as side-to-side eye movements, sounds, or taps. The process moves a bad thought stored in the short-term memory to the long term memory

·      This means that the memory can still be recalled but emotionally you do not react to it.


Benefits of EMDR:

·      Reduces symptoms of PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder).

·      Helps with anxiety, depression, and panic disorders.

·      Often faster than traditional talk therapy.

·      Does not require detailed verbal descriptions of the trauma, which can be less distressing for the client.

·      Can remove phobias or ticks


Who can benefit from EMDR?

·      Individuals suffering from PTSD.

·      People with anxiety, depression, or panic disorders.

·      Anyone who has experienced trauma, such as abuse, accidents, or loss.

·      Adults, adolescence and even dogs!


Common Misconceptions:

·      Myth: EMDR is hypnosis.

·      Fact: EMDR is not hypnosis; clients remain fully aware and in control.

·      Myth: EMDR is only for PTSD.

·      Fact:** EMDR can help with various mental health issues, not just PTSD.

·      Myth: EMDR won’t work on blind or the visually impaired or neurodivergent

·      Fact: EMDR uses light bars, tapping or various aids for what is called bilateral stimulation. EMDR can be used for anyone.

·      Myth: You have to relive a terrible traumatic situation for it too work.

·      Fact: Not necessarily. An expert EMDR therapist will have multiple ways, so the reprocessing does not re traumatise or make you feel upset.  


Finding an EMDR Therapist:

·      EMDR therapists are very sort after, and it can sometime be tricky to find one that is available. You can find a list of accredited EMDR therapists here

·      Tracey Brittain is an EMDR specialist. She has over two decades of EMDR experience and has presented research on EMDR to many educational and therapist institutions. Traceys website is




·      EMDR is a powerful, evidence-based therapy.

·      It can help people heal from trauma and improve their mental health.

-              If you or someone you know is struggling with traumatic memories, consider exploring EMDR as a treatment option.

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