Insight CBT

Professional Support for Personal Change & Recovery

What is EMDR?

EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing and is a National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) approved treatment for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  If we experience an event that feels traumatic and overwhelming our brains can sometimes go into ‘shock’ and not properly file the event in the memory part our brains and instead it remains in the more active side of the brain and can be more easily triggered by reminders of the event including the sights, smells, tastes, feelings that may have been present at the time and can feel as if it is happening all over again.  The person may experience flashbacks, nightmares, be easily startled and anxious.  In simple terms, EMDR helps to stimulate both sides of the brain involved and during the process the memory is filed in its proper place in the brain and healing to take place.

Eye movements are used and we can also use other forms of stimulation eg: sounds from stereo headphones and hand held tappers to stimulate the brain to effectively heal itself.

EMDR is not a form of hypnotism and you will be fully awake and in control of the process.

The advantages of EMDR are that it is often quicker than CBT to alleviate distressing memories and is less involved because you would not need to do ‘reliving’  between therapy sessions which is often used in CBT to treat PTSD.

Increasingly EMDR is being used to successfully treat other distressing memories that can lead to the development of phobias, anxiety and depression.

For further information you can visit EMDR UK and Ireland website: