EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation & Reprocessing) works by harnessing our natural problem solving ability. In much the same way that we process everyday information whilst we sleep during REM (Rapid Eye Movement.) EMDR helps us to process thoughts and feelings about events which we have previously been unable to e.g. traumatic events, events where we have felt at serious risk of harm, a sudden illness or loss of a loved one, being involved in an accident, being subjected to abuse, situations where we have felt out of control etc.
We do not always need to have experienced trauma first hand in order to suffer from it as it is also possible to experience trauma vicariously.
Our brains are able to process every day events storing them in our narrative memory, there to recall if we need to. Traumatic events get “stuck” and can be triggered time and time again, in some cases causing flashbacks, seemingly for no reason, but actually caused by something we have seen, heard, touched, smelt etc, which our brain has linked back to the traumatic event.
Sometimes we can begin to suffer from anxiety seemingly for no apparent reason. Panic attacks can occur in situations where rationally we know we are safe. When we have experienced trauma it can alter out ability to filter out what is dangerous and what is not. EMDR can help to reset that filter.
It is not always necessary to know the origin, or the reasons for anxiety in order to be able to work with it effectively using EMDR.
Always wanting to offer my clients more choice in how we work together, I began my EMDR training in 2007, becoming a qualified therapist in 2008, and at the beginning of 2012 became an EMDR Europe Accredited Therapist.
EMDR can feel structured and a “different” way of working to other therapies. The concept of how EMDR works might initially feel a little “odd.” In order to combat this I work with it in a compassion focused way, and at my client’s pace to enable them to build their confidence in our work together and experience just how effective this therapy can be.
I have always had a particular interest in working with anxiety. It is my belief that in a lot of cases, issues can improve if the amount of anxiety involved is lessened. EMDR helps clients to deal with their anxiety in a different way to counselling eg. the counsellor can have very little detail about what causes the anxiety and yet still be able to work towards lessening it. This gives the client choice around what they share.
Other methods of counselling can involve going into the origin of the anxiety in detail, whilst in some cases this can be therapeutically beneficial, in others it can be extremely distressing to the client. Originally developed to treat PTSD, (and recommended by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) as a method of treatment for PTSD) it has since been found to be helpful in the treatment of many issues which involve anxiety e.g. sexual abuse, physical/emotional abuse, obsessive compulsive disorder, fears, phobias, performance anxiety, prolonged grieving, pain etc.
More information about this form of treatment can be found by contacting me or on the following websites:- www.emdrassociation.org.uk, www.nice.org.uk