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EMDR- Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing

EMDR is a type of psychotherapy that was developed by psychologist Francine Shapiro in 1987 and is specifically recommended by NICE (the National Institute for Clinical Excellence) for post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It is also useful for many other things including anxiety, panic attacks, grief, phobias, addiction, depression, low self esteem. Within addiction I include anything that there is a pull for, with negative consequences eg disorderly eating, risky behaviour, shopping, gambling, unhealthy relationships etc as well as alcohol and drugs

Trauma could be described as any experience where you when you have felt overwhelmed and felt powerless or unsafe. Our nervous system instinctively responds with a Fight/ Flight/ Freeze/ Flop response as a survival tactic to deal with potential danger and sometimes these stay 'switched on'. PTSD can develop when the brain cannot to process memories process properly and may feel as though the trauma is still happening. EMDR helps the brain using side-to-side (bilateral) eye movements, or tapping in a similar way to REM in our sleep.


By doing this with a trained therapist (important!), the distress is reduced and your mind will naturally make connections to heal. Symptoms can include being triggered by reminders (eg a sound, smell, colour etc), flashbacks, nightmares, intrusive memories, panic attacks/ anxiety, dissociation (feeling ‘out of body’ or unreal), poor sleep, anger/ irritability, physical symptoms and being hypervigilant or ‘on edge’. You may feel lots of emotions, be completely numb or might swing between the two. 


A traumatic event could include direct or indirect involvement with:

  • An accident eg a car crash

  • Feeling under threat or shamed eg bullying, abusive relationship

  • Domestic/ Emotional/ Sexual violence or abuse

  • Abuse in childhood- direct harm or absence of care/ neglect

  • Childbirth/ surgery/ medical interventions

  • Illness and physical vulnerability

  • Physical violence- assaults / military experiences

  • Witnessing people hurt or killed- eg emergency services

  • A natural disaster

  • Traumatic loss & bereavements

  • Mental or physical ill health within the family

  • Anything overwhelming with a 'charge' that you cannot put in the past

       For EMDR you need to book 1.5 sessions (75 mins long)

**Contains swearing**


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