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EMDR Therapy

How can EMDR Therapy Help me?

EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitisation and Regulation. It can seem like a strange name (!) but for some it proves to be very helpful in processing traumatic or adverse experiences. 

Many studies have looked at the effectiveness of EMDR for both Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Complex-Post Traumatic Stress Disorder:

  • One study showed up to 90% of single-trauma survivors no longer have PTSD after only 3 90-minute sessions. 

  • Another study, found that 100% of the single-trauma survivors and 77% of multiple trauma survivors were no longer diagnosed with PTSD after only six 50-minute sessions.*

(I will note here that EMDR can be used for both small trauma (eg. emotional abuse, non-life threatening injuries, loss of a significant relationship, bullying and harassment) or big trauma (eg. natural disaster, war related experiences, serious accidents, sexual abuse, violent crimes or a medical trauma) It can be useful for anxiety, depression, stress and phobias as well as PTSD or C-PTSD). 

EMDR can be very helpful when we have memories that interfere with our current life. This might include memories that cause us to have negative beliefs about ourselves or memories that cause distress, or anxiety in our day to day lives. EMDR helps us to focus on three time periods: the past, the present and the future. As well as helping us to process the distressing memories, it can help us to move forward with more helpful beliefs about ourselves or about the world. 


The way that it works is that it uses bi-lateral stimulation (a left-right movement) which is usually tapping whilst processing the memory. (I will carefully guide you through the process.) It may sound unusual but the process was discovered by American Psychologist, Francine Shapiro in 1987 when she thought about a problem she had whilst going for a walk. She realised that the left-right movement helped her to process the problem and EMDR developed from there. EMDR therapy is also supported by various grounding techniques which help to make the process safe.

Everyone is unique and I can't promise that EMDR is right for everyone. I also can't promise that it is a quick fix. However, research and my experience (both personal and with the individuals I work with) suggests that it can be effective. As with other types of therapy there can be side effects during the processing period such as anxiety, new memories surfacing or unusual dreams. This is due to the fact that the memories are being processed and isn’t dissimilar from what may be a usual bout of anxiety. The difference is that the disturbance is due to the memory actually being processed.

It may be helpful to know that the principles of EMDR can also be interspersed with regular therapy. 

I am open to answering any questions you may have about EMDR.

* Source: PTSD UK. Click here for more information.

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