The mind possesses a natural capacity for self-healing, much like the body. During sleep, particularly in the rapid eye movement (REM) stage, our innate coping mechanisms come into play. However, when we undergo a traumatic event, our brain's processing system can become overwhelmed.
Often the memory of the event remains unprocessed and becomes "locked" in our nervous system. Consequently, recalling the distressing event may feel like reliving it, as the images and feelings associated with it remain unchanged.
In EMDR Therapy, the aim is to work alongside you in resolving a specific issue. Emma provides a safe secure environment to bring to mind a particularly troubling issue or event and pay attention to the images, thoughts, feelings, and sensations that arise without talking about them. Then, using methods like eye movements, alternating sounds, or bilateral stimulation, Emma guides you through sets of bilateral stimulation (visual, tactile and auditory) during the session.
This process activates the brain's inherent healing mechanism, similar to the eye movements during REM sleep when dreaming occurs. It also enhances communication between the brain's two hemispheres, facilitating the processing and resolution of traumatic material.
Throughout EMDR sessions, you remain fully awake, alert, and in control at all times.
After an EMDR session, individuals often report changes in the distressing issue or event. Memories become less vivid and distressing. While the event can still be recalled, it no longer provokes distress. Intrusiveness of memories, such as flashbacks and nightmares, typically diminish or cease. Moreover, individuals' beliefs about themselves, others, and the world undergo positive transformations, becoming more adaptive and realistic. This shift helps alleviate common post-trauma issues like fear, self-blame, guilt, shame, mistrust, and anger.
Source http://emdraa.org/why-emdr-therapy-2/ Graeme Taylor.
The 8 Phases of EMDR:
History Taking (understanding why you’re coming in for treatment, how trauma is currently affecting you and what your goals are for a successful outcome.)
Resourcing (also known as the preparation stage/stabilisation)
Target Assessment (quickly preparing the memory to be worked on without sitting and talking about the details)
Reprocessing (this is the part when you are doing eye movements and bilateral stimulation )
Installation (reinforcing the “good stuff”, such as new adaptive thoughts about the memory no longer focussing on the negative)
Body Scan (making sure there is no residual tension in the body/nervous system)
Closure (this happens at the end of every session, even if we’re not done working on that memory, so you can leave my office feeling calm and collected)
Re-evaluation (this happens at the beginning of every session, so we can see what has processed in between sessions and where we need to pick up)
Picture of EMDR machine utilised during EMDR treatment at WholeMinds Psychology.
Supporting EMDR Therapy
EMDR Therapy is one of the most well-researched trauma treatment models. In 2010 the Australian Psychological Society (APS) noted it as a Level 1 treatment for PTSD, the highest rating that can be applied to a specific therapeutic approach. Medicare care benefits apply to EMDR therapy.
The following organisations have endorsed EMDR Therapy:
• The World Health Organisation (2013)
• The Australian Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health (2013)
• The Australian Psychological Society (2010)
• The International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (2009)
• The National Health and Medical Research Council, Australia (NHMRC, 2007)
• UK National Guidelines for Clinical Excellence (NICE, 2005)
• American Psychiatric Association (2004)
• Dutch Guidelines on Mental Health Care (2003)
• Israel National Council for Mental Health (2002)
• Clinical Division of the American Psychological Association (1998)
Source http://emdraa.org/why-emdr-therapy-2/ Graeme Taylor
EMDR should only be conducted by a qualified health professional who has received training in EMDR therapy.
Emma is a member of the EMDRAA (Australian Association) and attends regular conferences and training specific to trauma and EMDR.
Specific protocols and techniques may vary depending on the individual needs of each client.
EMDR Therapy Video
The video is available from the EMDRAA