Eye Movement Desensitisation andReprocessing (EMDR) is a distinct treatment approach which uses bilateral stimulation to support the processing of distressing information that remains unprocessed due to their overwhelming nature (trauma). It was initially developed to treat Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD.
EMDR therapy focuses on past or present disturbing memories, experiences and related events. Once a memory or experience has been identified, the therapist will ask the client to hold that event or thought in mind and to use his eyes to track the therapist’s hand a sit moves back and forth across the client’s field of vision. Whilst this occurs, it is suggested that inner associations arise and the client begins to process the memory and distressing feelings. In successful EMDR therapy, the meaning of painful events is changed and integrated on an emotional level.
EMDR is an evidence based approach and its validity and reliability has been established by rigorous research. EMDR is recommended by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE)as an effective treatment for trauma and PTSD.