Sometimes talking about your problems, or developing strategies for change does not seem to change anything. Likewise, doing positive work, whilst it feels good, doesn’t get to the root of the problem. EMDR (shorthand for Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing) is a tool that works directly with painful memories in a way that gets to the heart of the memory and changes the experience of it at a visceral level. When it is used well, in the right situation, it can change a painful memory to a neutral one, and change a negative self belief into a positive one.
EMDR may sound miraculous, but is based on well documented scientific knowledge of how the left and right brain work, and our understanding of how trauma effects the brain and the nervous system.
To get geeky for a minute, the way that the brain stores traumatic memories is different to the way non traumatic ones are stored. The brain - very sensibly – splits the traumatic memory into lots of smaller parts so it is less over whelming. This is why talk therapy doesn’t always work – it doesn’t get to the places where the trauma is stored. Conversely, EMDR is really good at getting to those places, and it can integrate and reprocess the memory so it is no longer painful. Because it works directly with where the trauma is stored it can often accelerate the pace of change, and the pace of changing negative beliefs.
EMDR can be very effective, but it is an intense therapy, it works best when targeted on the right subjects, and within the capacity of each person. That is why there is always a need for assessment sessions before hand and for follow up sessions afterwards. Usually, I will use EMDR as one tool within a range of tools I use in my practice.
Please get in touch if you have questions about EMDR.