What is EMDR?

Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) was developed by Dr Francine Shapiro. It is an innovative clinical treatment, which has successfully helped millions of people of all ages who have experienced psychological difficulties which originate from some kind of traumatic experience, such as sexual abuse, childhood neglect, road traffic accidents and violence. EMDR is effective for almost all issues clients present with in psychotherapy.

EMDR has been found to be an efficacious treatment for PTSD as well as for processing other emotional memories. More recently its clinical applications have grown to include anxiety, depression, performance issues, relationship difficulties, complex trauma, health related problems, body dysmorphic disorder, substance misuse, bipolar disorder, chronic pain, psychosis, suicidality and self-harm.

EMDR is supported by wealth of constantly evolving research and is recognised by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) as a treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS).

EMDR is characterised by standardised procedures and protocols that include a bilateral sensorial stimulation such as repeated eye movements, aimed at processing and working through memories of trauma and other adverse life experiences.

It is guided by the adaptive information processing (AIP) model in which present symptoms are seen as unprocessed memories stored in the brain that lead to maladaptive information processing and present as symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder.

EMDR Therapy asserts that following treatment of a distressing life event, information processing is enhanced and new associations are forged, resulting in new learning, elimination of emotional distress, and development of cognitive insights.

To learn more about EMDR, please watch this introductory video or visit the EMDR UK Association website and the EMDR International website.