EMDR therapy in York

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What is EMDR?

EMDR is also known as Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing. A powerful psychological treatment method, it was devised in the 1980s by Dr Francine Shapiro, a clinical psychologist. Shapiro developed EMDR with the goal of reducing emotional distress in the shortest period of time. It is used worldwide for the treatment of trauma and PTSD.

EMDR uses eye movements to stimulate brain processing

The Gold Standard in EMDR training

I have completed all 4 parts of an EMDR Association approved course in Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing. Training on an approved course is restricted to mental health professionals who hold current registration to provide psychotherapeutic services (such as British Psychological Society membership). This is the gold standard in EMDR training and involves substantial supervised practice.

I am pleased to be able to offer EMDR to my clients alongside my other services

EMDR for treating distress

Substantial research has demonstrated the benefits of EMDR in treating psychological trauma including experiences of war, childhood abuse or neglect, natural disasters, assaults, surgical trauma, road traffic and workplace accidents. However, EMDR can also be used very effectively to help people experiencing distress with phobias, grief, illness, performance anxiety or any distress from the past, which is impacting on day to day life. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) recognises EMDR as a suitable intervention for treating Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). PTSD can develop in people of any age following a stressful event or situation of an exceptionally threatening or catastrophic nature.

Best known for treating PTSD, EMDR can help with a range of mental health issues

Your brain processes trauma differently

Being involved in a distressing event can feel overwhelming and the brain may be unable to process this information in the same way as an ordinary memory. The distress seems to become frozen on a neurological level. Recalling the event, which may trigger when you least expect it, causes you to intensely re-experience what you could see, hear, smell, taste or feel at the time. Sometimes the memory is so disturbing that you avoid thinking about it so you don’t have to experience the distress.

EMDR aims to identify and process such dysfunctional or unhelpful behaviours, emotions, cognitions and memories

Distress alleviated with EMDR

The treatment phase of the EMDR protocol can seem a little strange when you first encounter it. The theory behind the treatment proposes that unprocessed traumatic or distressing information produces dysfunctional reactions. Bi-lateral stimulation in the form of alternating eye movements, tapping or sounds, are used to stimulate the brain into reprocessing the frozen or blocked information. The distressing memories lose their intensity and can then be stored appropriately in the same way as normal memories. The effect is believed to work in the same way as we naturally process ordinary memories during REM or dream sleep when your eyes move rapidly and repeatedly from side to side. After treatment, memories will no longer cause you distress.

Remember events in a more helpful and manageable way

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