About EMDR - Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing

EMDR is a client-centred approach, and it is the client that is always in control.

It is a powerful treatment approach and therapeutic tool. Originally developed in 1987 by Dr Francine Shapiro, EMDR is best understood as an integrative therapy. It consists of a set of protocols that incorporates elements from many different treatment approaches.

Numerous research studies have shown that EMDR can be successful in the treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and can reduce the symptoms and anxiety, intrusive thoughts, nightmares, and flashbacks associated with this condition. It is also increasingly being used to address many other 'stuck' or distressing conditions and issues, such as depression, anxiety, phobias, and complicated grief.

The eye movements, sounds, or taps used in EMDR seem to activate parts of the brain (just as in dreaming) and allow the brain the process the negative experience that it was unable to do when the trauma was occurring.

Some people experience a high level of emotional and physical sensations that accompany the distressing unresolved memories that are being reprocessed. EMDR does not cause these sensations, rather it is your own body and brain 'digesting' and unlocking or unfreezing the old memory in its attempt to heal and integrate itself.

For some people, other material, in the forms of memories, thoughts, flashbacks, feelings, and dreams may continue to emerge between sessions. This is normal, and will be addressed in the following therapy session. It is often useful to keep a journal or diary after an EMDR session.