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Mary Parker Counselling at Quayside Well-Being


Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing a complex and powerful therapy developed by Dr Francine Shapiro in the 1980 is the treatment recommend by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) in treating PTSD. There has been considerable research into the benefits of EMDR in working with trauma arising from, war related experiences, childhood sexual or physical abuse, natural disasters, assaults, road traffic collisions and workplace accidents.

How does EMDR work?

When a person is involved in a distressing event, they may feel overwhelmed and their brain may be unable to process the information like a normal memory. The distressing memory seems to become frozen on a neurological level. When a person recalls the distressing memory, the person can re-experience what they saw, heard, smelt, tasted or felt, and this can be quite intense. Sometimes the memories are so distressing, the person tries hard to avoid thinking about the distressing event to avoid experiencing the distressing feelings.

Some find that the distressing memories come to mind when something reminds them of the distressing event, or sometimes the memories just pop into mind. The alternating left-right stimulation of the brain with eye movements, sounds or taps during EMDR seems to stimulate the frozen or blocked information process. The effect is believed to be similar to REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep when your eyes move rapidly from side to side.EMDR Association

EMDR is a client lead therapy where the client remains in control of the session and is able to stop at any time.

Further information is available from the EMDR Association.