EMDR, or Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing Therapy, is a form of psychotherapeutic treatment recommended by NICE guidelines as a specialist treatment for PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).
When we experience a traumatic event, our brain can sometimes struggle to adequately process what we have experienced due to the high levels of emotional distress. When this occurs, our brain becomes ‘stuck’ in processing the event and is unable to shelve it within our memory network like normal every-day experiences. Despite the event being historic, if the memory is not adequately processed, it can trigger a range of emotions and difficulties in the present – such as anxiety, panic, fear, low mood, low self-esteem and poor sleep. For some, it can feel as though the threat is very current and they are reliving the traumatic event over and over, despite the event being in the past.
EMDR therapy involves identifying specific, unprocessed, traumatic memories and associated images that may require help to fully process. By exploring the memory, imagery and negative cognitions alongside utilising bilateral sensory input movements (e.g. side to side eye movements), this stimulates and supports your brain in processing the traumatic event fully within the brain’s memory network. By processing the traumatic event in this way, the psychological distress and associated symptoms experienced improve significantly.
NICE recommends 8-12 sessions of EMDR for a single event trauma. At Clear Mind, we have a highly experienced and dedicated EMDR therapist, Hannah. If you would like to find out more about EMDR and how it can help you, please get in touch.
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