What is Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR)?

EMDR is a type of talking therapy that helps the brain reprocess memories of traumatic events so that the negative effects have less impact.

What difficulties might EMDR help with?

EMDR has been found to be effective when treating people who experience intrusive thoughts, memories, nightmares or flashbacks from traumatic events. It is particularly useful in treating Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD. 

How does EMDR work?

EMDR works by accessing memories of a trauma and reprocessing what you remember about the negative event and therefore how you feel about the negative event. This is done by recalling the memory and following instructions of the therapist. The brain is able to repair the mental injury that has been caused by the memory, so that when you recall it in the future, it doesn’t have the same impact. 

What's it like to receive EMDR?

  1. You will firstly meet with a therapist who will determine if EMDR is right for you. This is done by asking you some questions about your circumstances, the things you struggle with and by completing some questionnaires. 
  2. If EMDR is right for you, you will be given a therapist to work with who will be trained to deliver this type of intervention. You will meet with them regularly - this can vary from person to person but is usually around every two weeks. 
  3. EMDR can be a distressing process as it requires you to recall things that might be difficult to think about. For this reason, the sessions will be planned carefully so that you have time to recover and it’s helpful to have a good support network of family and friends. 
  4. The therapist will also regularly discuss with you how you are finding the sessions, so that your therapist can adapt the sessions so that you get the most from your treatment.