Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) has helped over one million people who have experienced psychological difficulties following some kind of traumatic experience, such as sexual abuse, childhood neglect, road traffic accidents and violence.
When a person is severely traumatized, either by an overwhelming event or by being repeatedly subjected to distress, the usual healing process may become overloaded, leaving the original disturbing experiences unprocessed. These unprocessed memories can be stored in the brain in a ‘raw’ form where they lead to a feeling of ongoing threat & danger. The person can also experience anxiety, flashbacks and morbid thinking.
EMDR therapy is a scientifically supported treatment for trauma and PTSD. It is recommended by numerous organizations including the World Health Organization & the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). It involves well refined procedures that use bilateral sensory stimulation such as repeated eye movements, to help the individual to work through and process memories of trauma and other adverse life experiences. Before beginning the processing, clients are initially taught skills to help manage strong feelings and flashbacks. EMDR is also successful in treating other complaints such as performance anxiety, self-esteem issues, phobias, and other trauma related anxiety disorders.
There have been over 24 controlled studies supporting the efficacy of EMDR. The most recent studies with people suffering from a range of events such as rape, combat, bereavement, accidents, natural disasters etc. have found that 84 – 90% of the participants no longer had Post-traumatic Stress Disorder following EMDR treatment. A study conducted at Kaiser Permanente have reported that 100% of single-trauma victims and 77% of multiple-trauma victims no longer had PTSD after completing EMDR therapy.
EMDR can be delivered in 50 or 90 minute sessions,