EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) was developed after the observations of the apparent desensitizing and information processing effect of spontaneous repeated eye movements on unpleasant thoughts.
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.
EMDR began as a therapy specifically for the treatment of people with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). It’s successful results with trauma victims have led to its application to a wide range of disorders. Gemma Dowler, sister of Milly whom was tragically killed by a serial killer in 2002, recently spoke movingly on Radio 2 with Jeremy Vine about how EMDR therapy had helped her and her family to overcome the years of trauma they experienced in the aftermath of Milly’s death. “When you’re traumatized it’s like a grenade going off in your mind, everything sprays out and you can’t make sense of it.” Any event that has had a lasting negative effect on the self or psyche is by its very nature traumatic and can therefore be treated successfully with EMDR. Over the last decade research has shown effective results in the treatment of many other disorders such as phobias, panic, anxiety, depression, loss, complicated bereavement, stress, sleep problems, addictions, self esteem, performance anxiety and even pain management. It is not to be confused with hypnotherapy as it requires the individual to remain fully conscious and focused on the memories in order to be effective. It is a collaborative treatment.
EMDR sessions are 60-90 minutes in length. Some processing can also take place between sessions so it usually takes a few to complete work around a specific issue. For more complex trauma longer term work may be required. If you feel you may benefit from EMDR therapy or have any questions then please do contact Bcalm to discuss your requirements.
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