Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing is a form of therapy that processes memories, experiences or events that have been experienced as traumatic and are embedded within the person as they are first experienced. They are generally triggered in the present by an encounter with a person, a similar situation or an event and often sounds and smells bring up in us a similar set of distressing feelings and behaviours.
Traumatic experiences can vary from individual to individual as it is how something is experienced that makes it traumatic. Initially EMDR was used to treat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and since its inception 25 years ago has evolved to treat other form of ‘traumas’ that aren’t necessarily within the criteria used to diagnose PTSD.
This approach to therapy follows most conventional approaches to therapy in that there is a consultation phase and the appropriateness of using EMDR is decided during that time. As the name suggests Eye movement, taps or sound is used to jog the processing of the trauma. This together with an image of the traumatic experience and how that made the person feel is brought to mind and processing of the experience begins. The goal of EMDR is to relieve the person of the physiologically stored trauma.
Please see the EMDR UK & Ireland Website for further information.