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Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

What is EMDR?

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a powerful technique that can help you to overcome the effects of a traumatic experience.

The human brain can find it extremely difficult to process the thoughts and feelings associated with traumatic experiences. As a result, many people suffer long-lasting feelings of panic, anger, guilt or distress, feelings that can be triggered by tiny reminders or associations.

EMDR uses eye movements to help you desensitise and reprocess the trauma experience more effectively. Desensitization is the process of reducing the intensity of those feelings, or removing them completely. Reprocessing replaces those feelings with new, more helpful beliefs and associations.

EMDR can be very effective for a number of emotional and behavioural problems, including:

How does EMDR work?

When we move our eyes, we stimulate the right and left hemispheres of the brain, which relate to our emotional and rational sides. This helps the brain to process information more effectively, eliminating negative information and making new associations. A similar outcome can be achieved using alternating hand taps.

EMDR is particularly helpful for those who find it difficult to talk about past events, as it uses largely non-verbal techniques.  It is especially effective with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other symptoms of trauma.

What does EMDR involve?

Your EMDR psychotherapist will first establish whether EMDR is the appropriate therapy for your needs. Working together, you will explore past events and identify the triggers that are causing your distress.

During EMDR, you will be asked to follow hand movements with your eyes, or will be lightly tapped on your hands or knees. At the same time, your therapist will gently help you to think about the past trauma, and will direct you to replace feelings of distress with more positive thoughts and associations.

Each session will help you to learn how to manage your feelings, so that you can overcome the negative triggers and lessen the impact of the past trauma.

How do I get EMDR?

Contact Connect to find out if EMDR is the best therapy for your situation. Connect will help you find an available, conveniently located therapist in Bath, Bristol and other areas in the South West.

Learn more about EMDR