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Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy: What is it and why should I try it?


Introductory Offer

 

We are pleased to announce that Dr. Amanda Bassey is currently undergoing training in EMDR therapy and is now accepting training clients. As part of this initiative, A&F is offering a special training rate for individuals interested in experiencing the benefits of EMDR therapy. We are providing a concession rate of £100 for up to 1 hour and 30 minutes per session for the first five sessions. This is an excellent opportunity to trial EMDR therapy under the guidance of a skilled and dedicated professional. Please enquire for more information or click to book at the bottom of this page, the discount code is EMDRTRIAL. THIS OFFER ENDS AUGUST 1ST 2024

 

Introduction

 

Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy stands out as a unique and effective approach. Initially developed in the late 1980s by psychologist Dr. Francine Shapiro, EMDR has since gained substantial recognition and validation within the psychological community. This blog post aims to shed light on what EMDR therapy is, how it works, and the benefits it offers, especially for those unfamiliar with this therapeutic technique. For those of you interested, we end this post with an introductory offer to try it out.

 

What is EMDR Therapy?

 

EMDR therapy is a psychotherapeutic approach designed to relieve the distress associated with your traumatic memories. Unlike traditional talk therapies, EMDR does not rely heavily on talking. Instead, it uses an eight-phase process that includes the use of bilateral stimulation, often through guided eye movements, to help reprocess and integrate your traumatic memories.

 

How EMDR Works

 

The underlying mechanism of EMDR is rooted in the adaptive information processing (AIP) model, which suggests that mental health difficulties, particularly those involving trauma or distress, are due to unprocessed memories. These memories are processed poorly by your brain and are stored in their original, distressing form. EMDR aims to help your brain reprocess these memories, integrating them into the your adaptive memory networks.

 

During an EMDR session, we focus on a specific distressing memory while simultaneously engaging in bilateral stimulation. This process is believed to facilitate the natural healing mechanisms of the brain, akin to the processing that occurs during REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep, where the brain processes and integrates information.

 

The Benefits of EMDR Therapy


1. Effective Treatment for PTSD

 

EMDR is widely recognised for its efficacy in treating Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Numerous studies have demonstrated significant reductions in PTSD symptoms following EMDR treatment. A meta-analysis published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology found EMDR to be as effective, if not more so, than other established treatments like cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) for PTSD.

 

2. Quick Results

 

Compared to other therapeutic approaches, EMDR can produce faster results. While traditional talk therapies may take months or even years to yield significant progress, many clients experience notable improvements in a relatively short period with EMDR. Some studies suggest that positive changes can be seen in as few as three to six sessions.

 

3. Reduced Physical Symptoms

 

Trauma often manifests in physical symptoms, including headaches, gastrointestinal issues, and chronic pain. EMDR has been shown to alleviate these physical symptoms by addressing the underlying psychological distress. Clients frequently report a reduction in somatic complaints after undergoing EMDR therapy.

 

4. Long-Lasting Effects

 

The effects of EMDR are typically enduring. Follow-up studies have shown that the benefits of EMDR therapy are maintained over time, with clients experiencing sustained relief from trauma symptoms. This long-term effectiveness makes EMDR a valuable option for those seeking lasting change.

 

5. Non-Invasive and Medication-Free

 

EMDR does not require medication, making it an appealing option for individuals who prefer a non-invasive, medication-free approach to mental health treatment. This aspect of EMDR is particularly beneficial for those who have had adverse reactions to medications or those who wish to avoid the potential side effects of medical treatments.

 

6. Applicable to a Wide Range of Conditions

 

While EMDR is best known for its use in treating PTSD, it is also effective for a variety of other conditions. These include anxiety disorders, depression, phobias, grief, and even chronic pain. The versatility of EMDR makes it a valuable tool in the therapist's arsenal, capable of addressing a broad spectrum of psychological issues.

 

What to Expect During an EMDR Session

 

If you are considering EMDR therapy, understanding what to expect can help relief any apprehensions. Here is a brief overview of a typical EMDR session:

 

1. Initial Consultation: We will conduct a thorough assessment to understand your history and specific needs. Goals for therapy are established, and you are educated about the EMDR process.

 

2. Preparation: We will teach you various techniques for managing emotional distress and ensuring you feel safe and grounded during the sessions.

 

3. Processing Sessions: We will guide you through the eight phases of EMDR, focusing on your specific traumatic memories. Bilateral stimulation (e.g., eye movements, taps, or sounds) is used to facilitate reprocessing.

 

4. Closure and Review: Each session concludes with techniques to ensure you leave feeling stable and calm. We will review progress and plan future sessions as needed.




 

References

 

1. van der Kolk, B. A., Spinazzola, J., Blaustein, M., Hopper, J. W., Hopper, E. K., Korn, D. L., & Simpson, W. B. (2007). A randomized clinical trial of EMDR, fluoxetine, and pill placebo in the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder: treatment effects and long-term maintenance. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 63(1), 37-55.

 

2. Shapiro, F. (2014). Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy: Basic principles, protocols, and procedures. Guilford Publications.

 

3. Marcus, S. V. (2008). Phase 1 of Integrated EMDR: An abortive treatment for migraine headaches. Journal of EMDR Practice and Research, 2(1), 15-25.

 

4. Maxfield, L., & Hyer, L. (2002). The relationship between efficacy and method in EMDR. Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy: An International Journal of Theory and Practice, 9(5), 346-352.

 

5. de Roos, C., Veenstra, A. C., de Jongh, A., den Hollander-Gijsman, M. E., van der Wee, N. J., Zitman, F. G., & van Rood, Y. R. (2011). Treatment of chronic phantom limb pain using a trauma-focused psychological approach. Pain Research and Management, 15(2), 65-71.

 

6. van Minnen, A., & Hagenaars, M. A. (2002). Fear activation and habituation patterns as early process predictors of response to prolonged exposure treatment in PTSD. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 15(5), 359-367.

7. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). (2018). Post-traumatic stress disorder. NICE Guidelines.

8.  American Psychological Association. (2017). Clinical Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in Adults. APA Guidelines.

 

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