So what is EMDR or to give the full title Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprogramming? It involves moving your eyes from side to side while holding an image of the unpleasant memory in your mind. These memories are attached to strong emotions which are stopping them being processed by your brain - you may be experiencing flashbacks and finding strong emotions being triggered on a day to day basis.
The eye movement engages the working memory while your brain processes the unpleasant memory and it is your own brain that is doing the healing. You won’t forget what happened but you won’t have the upsetting emotions that were attached to it. It might sound absolutely crazy but it is really effective and I have helped people who have been in car accidents, war zones etc. but it helps with any upsetting memory in everyday life.
I use EMDR when the memory has become stuck and counselling hasn’t shifted it. For example, it helps with grief. The manner of the death may have been shocking, someone in pain, death happening suddenly, asking nurses for help but they didn’t come. Processing this memory is important as until this happens normal grief won’t be able to start and the person is very stuck.
The end of a relationship can, naturally, be very upsetting and many of my clients come to see me when this happens. They are devastated and have all kinds of emotions. They never wish to see their partner again as they are so hurt but there are children involved. EMDR is very helpful as it reduces the hurt and strong emotions and allows them to be civil to their former partner and counselling can then help them to move forward in their lives.
EMDR also helps with phobias, going to the root of the behaviour and processing that removes the fear and when the fear has gone then the phobia has gone too. It can also be used for addictions, once again going to the roots of the behaviour (addictions are ways of avoiding something difficult from the past).
But EMDR doesn’t only work with the past, having removed the unpleasant emotions then new positive self beliefs are installed. I can also install positive beliefs about the future – for example if someone is scared of flying, after processing the unpleasant fears we would then work through the steps towards flying - booking, going to the airport, going through departure lounge, boarding, take off, in flight, landing etc. Each step would be processed and positive self beliefs installed.
EMDR is a form of psychotherapy – it isn’t hypnotherapy and you are fully in control all the time. EMDR is helpful with so many issues and I use it in combination with other therapies. There are options that are perfect for you and we can discuss when we meet.