The Benefits of EMDR After Trauma

Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing has been used with great success to treat victims of post traumatic stress disorder. It was founded by Francine Shapiro in an attempt to help people deal with emotionally disturbing events from their pasts. EMDR London counsellors use Shapiro’s techniques to work with people who come to seek relief.

A patient who goes in for Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing treatment often arrives with severe problems. He or she may have experienced a devastating auto accident, a rape, or intense combat duty. The memories of the negative experiences haunt the person in present situations. This can lead to distress and discomfort.

People who go to see an EMDR Counsellor may decide to begin therapy because of disturbing occurrences such as sensory flashbacks. The person not only feels the feelings of being in the negative experience again. He or she may also see or hear past happenings as if they are going on in the present. An ex-soldier may see and hear the sights and sounds of battle all around and be completely overwhelmed each time.

According to Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing theory, this is happening because the incident has never been fully processed and resolved. An EMDR Counsellor will work with the patient to process the memories so that they can be put into their proper context.

EMDR London counsellors take many steps in helping their clients to process and resolve memories. At first, time is spent talking about the past in an attempt to clarify exactly what the problems are. Targets are identified which are disturbing memories or issues that need to be soothed. A few specific targets will be chosen to start the sessions.

Before the actual EMDR therapy begins, patients are asked to identify and visualise a safe place or memory. This safe place will serve as a sanctuary when a session must be left incomplete or when a session is terribly distressing. The person need only visualise this place or memory and he or she will be calmed.

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The next part of Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing is to visualise an image that is associated with the target memory or issue. Then, the EMDR Counsellor helps the client to realise that they have formed a negative cognition. Once people have identified negative statements they are making about themselves, they can understand how true those statements seem to them to be.

The EMDR London Counsellor can begin the job of therapy by helping them to form a positive cognition about themselves. Even if this good thought does not seem to be true at first, it is useful to be aware of it as the process goes along.

What comes next is somewhat difficult to describe. Many things happen at once. The patient is asked to focus on the target memory, the negative cognition, and the original disturbing emotion. At the same time, the EMDR Counsellor will instruct the patient to move his or her eyes back and forth from side to side.

After a short time of juggling all of these images, thoughts, and eye movements, the patient is asked to talk about what has occurred to him or her. The EMDR therapists often go on to ask the clients to focus on the thought that has occurred to them, while doing the eye movements again. Sometimes other methods are used, such as alternating hand tapping and bilateral auditory stimulation.

This process goes through each phase, over and over, with the EMDR Counsellor asking regularly about the patient’s current level of disturbance on a scale of 1 to 10. The process is successful when the level has reached 1, or the person feels perfectly at ease.

These EMDR psychology techniques are very fast and effective in treating problems that are fear-based. Any trauma that elicits a feeling of fear can be overcome with EMDR therapy. However, some traumas cause other types of feelings. Combat trauma may involve feelings of guilt and shame. As it turns out, Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing works very well for alleviating such feelings.

EMDR therapy is usually a fairly short course of treatment. While it is rarely accomplished in one session, many people have had incredible results after 12 or fewer sessions. This makes EMDR therapy one of the most effective and efficient forms of therapy for post traumatic stress disorder.

An EMDR Counsellor will take the time to explore the client’s information processing habits in the past, the present, and anticipate them in the future. In this way, the past is dealt with and the present is lived to the fullest. The therapist will also help prepare the patient for a future in which emotional disturbances need not rule his or her life.

Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing treatment is entirely appropriate for many people. Those who are overcome by feelings of fear brought on by traumatic events can be helped by these interesting and effective techniques.

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