EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing) is a psychotherapy that enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing life experiences. Repeated studies show that by using EMDR therapy people can experience the benefits of psychotherapy that once took years to make a difference. Traditionally, people assume that severe emotional pain requires a long time to heal yet EMDR therapy has shown that the mind can in fact heal from psychological trauma much as the body recovers from physical trauma. A frequent analogy used to illustrate this point is when you cut your hand, your body works to close the wound. If a foreign object or repeated injury irritates the wound, it festers and causes pain. Once the block is removed, healing resumes. EMDR therapy demonstrates that a similar sequence of events occurs with mental processes. When an event occurs in our life, our brain’s information processing system naturally moves toward mental health. If the system is blocked or imbalanced by the impact of a disturbing event however, the emotional wound festers and can cause intense suffering. Once the block is removed, healing resumes. Using the detailed protocols and procedures learned in EMDR training sessions, clinicians help clients activate their natural healing processes.
Where's the evidence ?
More than thirty positive controlled outcome studies have been conducted on EMDR therapy. Some of the studies show that 84%-90% of single-trauma victims no longer have post-traumatic stress disorder after only three 90-minute sessions. Another study found that 100% of the single-trauma victims and 77% of multiple trauma victims no longer were diagnosed with PTSD after only six 50-minute sessions. In another study, 77% of combat veterans were free of PTSD in 12 sessions. There has been so much research on EMDR therapy that it is now recognised as an effective form of treatment for trauma and other disturbing experiences by organisations such as the American Psychiatric Association, the World Health Organisation and the U.S.Department of Defence. EMDR therapy is also an effective in treating the “everyday” memories that are the reason people have low self-esteem, feelings of powerlessness, and all the myriad problems that bring them in for therapy. Over 100,000 clinicians throughout the world use the therapy. Millions of people have been treated successfully over the past 25 years.
EMDR has been shown to be effective for the treatment of panic and anxiety disorders, phobias, depression, survivors of early sexual abuse, the management of chronic pain and complicated mourning. It must also be noted EMDR is not a cure all and not a one-off treatment. It is not suitable for all individuals for all situations however and your suitability can be discussed in session. Sessions range from sixty to ninety-minutes.
The Clinical Director and Principal Psychologist is currently awaiting EMDRAA Board approval as an Accredited EMDR Practitioner. Achieving this level, highlights Helen's commitment to her clients and continuing education and professional development in EMDR.