North & Central London

   EMDR Trauma Therapy

EMDR is recommended by NICE (The National Council for Excellence) in the treatment of:

EMDR is cost effective, requiring fewer sessions than traditional therapy. Relief from emotional distress often comes within the first few sessions.

EMDR is effective therapy for issues such as:

  • Panic attacks
  • General anxiety disorder (GAD)
  • Phobias
  • Sexual abuse
  • Road traffic accident trauma
  • Excessive grief
  • Depression
  • Physical pain
  • Addictions
  • Fear of public speaking
  • Performance anxiety

What is EMDR?

EMDR has been shown to relative in few sessions what other therapies may take years to achieve, if at all.

In order to understand EMDR, one needs to have a relatively clear idea of how trauma can affect the brain. With Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), the brain fails to successfully process the trauma and it gets stuck in the central nervous system. The body fails to recognize that the person is now safe. Instead it reacts as though danger is current, and this throws the person out of balance on many levels, including emotional and physical.
EMDR is unique because it facilitates the processing of information that has become 'stuck' in the central nervous system. Brain scans have actually captured information transferring from one side of a brain to another as a person experiences an EMDR session. The same cannot be said for other forms of counselling.
This is a really important point, because the mainstream and rather outdated approach, especially in the UK, is to use talk-based therapies or drugs with PTSD. These may help for the duration they are given, but soon after they are withdrawn, the brain will loop back into the trauma and the whole cycle with start over again, which can literally lead a person to be suicidal, especially since the general attitude will be that adequate help has already been given.

In order for real healing to take place, there has to be the kind of processing that EMDR can offer.

Is EMDR only good for trauma?

EMDR has many applications but the most documented is trauma. Other areas which have found some success are panic attacks, , anxiety, addictions, dissociative disorders, disturbing memories, stress reduction, complicated grief, physical or sexual abuse, stage fright, public speaking, phobias, phantom limb pain and pain in general. Also, because EMDR effectively reframes memories in a more useful and effective way, it has been found to be of great use to business executives. Actors have also been known to use it as a way to access aspects of themselves that will enhance their performances. These are just a few examples.

How does EMDR work?

EMDR can work for some issues, such as a specific anxiety or phobia, in just one session. More usually, it takes place over a series of sessions based upon an eight phase system which has been tried and tested.

Initial sessions enable the therapist to gather information about a client, the problem and its origins. For me this lasted two sessions, but it could be less for others as I had quite a catalogue of events to get through.

Next, the client is encouraged to visualise a safe place and just experience being there. That may sound new-agey and some of you may scoff, but it is done with the purpose of enabling the client to link the sessions with an increased degree of safety. This is not to be underestimated.

The client will have been asked to draw up a list of issues or traumas to be dealt with. The first EMDR work is usually based upon the issue or trauma that the client would feel most comfortable dealing with. This is useful because it enables the client to get used to the process without simultaneously jumping in at the deep end. Again, the point is to develop that feeling of safety.

With this first issue chosen, the client is asked to identify the negative belief that they formed about themselves in this event. Typical beliefs are 'I wasn't strong enough', 'I'm stupid' or 'I don't deserve to live' etc. Then, distress is measure on a scale from one to ten.

With the negative belief about self in relation to the chosen issue identified, the client is then asked to choose the positive belief that they would like to replace that. A typical belief would be 'I am strong' or 'I am clever.' This belief is also measured on a scale, but this time the scale goes from one to seven, where one is not true at all and seven is totally true.

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