EMDR works with the body to release traumatic experiences. It is commonly used for Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, (PTSD) to bring relief from the trauma of events such as abuse, domestice violence, combat, crime or the result of a violent accident. It helps the brain to process things which have overwhelmed it. The distressing memory seems to have been frozen into the brain’s memory.
EMDR helps the brain to cope with this vivid memory; it allows the brain to become desensitised to the event; to be able to process the event and thus view it in a different way.
There are eight stages to an EMDR treatment, and they will probably extend over some number of sessions, but progress can be experienced quite early. We are all different. The therapist begins by identifying with the client the image which is most powerfully still causing distress.
EMDR stimulates both the left and right hemispheres of the brain – by rapid eye movement or by tapping the hands or knees, or by sending sounds to the left and the right ears alternately.
The client concentrates on this bi-lateral stumuli at the same time as focusing on the traumatic event. This seems to allow a different level of processing to occur. The client is often able to view the event more objectively – as if seeing a train passing by, rather than being on the train itself.