EMDR – Eye Movement Desensitisation & Reprocessing

What is EMDR used for?

EMDR is almost exclusively used in people who have experienced trauma, especially those who have experienced Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). However, research has shown that EMDR could be helpful for phobias, anxiety disorders or dissociative disorders.

What does a session actually look like?

Sessions usually last between 60 and 90 minutes. Patients are asked to conjure up a traumatic memory with the aim of processing these traumas and their related effects (distress, intrusive thoughts etc.).  Then the therapist helps you by either getting you to follow their finger, tapping each side alternately or playing a tone.

How does it work?

It’s not clear exactly how EMDR works, but it may help you change the negative way you think about a traumatic experience. It is suggested that concentrating on traumatic events can be thought of as prolonged exposure which is the backbone of CBT, the gold standard for PTSD treatment.

How long does therapy last?

On average, between 6 and 12 sessions but this can vary depending on the individual.