What is EMDR therapy?

EMDR therapy, or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, is one of the forms of psychotherapy used to treat trauma. If you or someone close to you suffers from trauma, be sure to check what EMDR therapy is all about. And if you are looking for affordable emdr therapy in London then you have landed at the right place. 

Impact of Trauma on the Psyche

Painful experiences from the past always leave a mark on our psyche. In most cases, we are able to deal with them, tame the emotions associated with them and, with time, distance ourselves from the whole event. Sometimes, however, an event is so strong emotionally and/or physically that the memory of it is “frozen”. EMDR therapy aims to help change this.

Our brain was unable to process this experience, and the emotions associated with it are blocked to activate unexpectedly under the influence of neutral stimuli (e.g. smell or sound). Despite the passage of years, recalling a given event is associated with strong emotions and stress. For this reason, this experience is not just a memory for us, but an event that is relived over and over again. Trauma has serious emotional (including anxiety) and physiological (including apathy, sleep problems, various diseases) consequences. In order to be able to get used to the past, it is necessary to undergo therapy.

An effective form of psychotherapy

EMDR is a therapy developed by American psychologist Francine Shapiro in 1987 . She has noticed that when she is under severe stress, rapid and repetitive eye movements can reduce the level of anxiety that accompanies her. After more than 30 years, EMDR is one of the most widely used forms of psychotherapy in the US. At the same time, it is gaining more and more popularity in Europe, including Poland. EMDR therapy for the treatment of trauma is recommended by, among others, World Health Organization and American Psychiatric Association . Its effectiveness is confirmed not only by numerous clinical studies, but also by patients who managed to cope with trauma after past events.

What is EMDR therapy?

EMDR therapy aims to change our perception of past events so that they are memories for us, not an ongoing experience. For this purpose, the process of information processing by the brain is used. The therapist stimulates the patient’s senses (usually eye movements) to trigger the information processing process. This allows blocked emotions and events to be reprocessed and given new meaning.

What does EMDR therapy look like in practice?

The patient is properly prepared for therapy so that recalling painful memories and emotions related to them is safe . During the session, the patient recalls traumatic events, focuses on emotions, thoughts and signals from the body that accompany him. At the same time, the therapist alternately stimulates both hemispheres of the patient’s brain. Typically, the patient follows the therapist’s hand with his or her eyes, who makes swinging movements with the hand, it is also possible to use tactile or acoustic stimuli. During the session, the patient, although he recalls the memory of painful experiences, over time feels relief, and the stress associated with them subsides or becomes less. The patient processes a given experience from the past and connects it with current experiences .This makes it possible to give traumatic events a new, safer meaning.

EMDR therapy – for whom?

EMDR therapy is recommended for people who suffer from trauma related to a past event, such as physical and psychological violence, rape, accident, or abandonment by a caregiver in childhood. This form of psychotherapy works well not only in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) , but also depression various types of anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorders, and phobias. EMDR is also used in the therapy of people working in uniformed and emergency services. The decision to start EMDR therapy rests with the doctor. Contraindications to therapy include: epilepsy or a tendency to faint. The duration of EMDR therapy depends on the problem the patient is facing. Some people are helped by a few sessions, in other cases, treatment can take much longer. A single session usually lasts from 50 to 90 minutes.

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