The mind can often heal itself naturally, in the same way as the body does. Much of this natural coping mechanism occurs during sleep, particularly during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. EMDR is recommended by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence for Trauma and has been used to treat a wide range of psychological problems very effectively.
EMDR utilises the natural healing ability of your body. After a thorough assessment, you will be asked specific questions about a particular disturbing memory. Eye movements, similar to those during REM sleep, will be recreated simply by asking you to watch the therapist's finger moving backwards and forwards across your visual field. Sometimes, a bar of moving lights, headphones or handheld tactile pulsers are used. The eye movements will last for a short while and then stop. You will then be asked to report back on the experiences you have had during each of these sets of eye movements. Experiences during a session may include changes in thoughts, images and feelings, sensations and memories.
With repeated sets of eye movements, the memory eventually loses its painful intensity, you will not forget the memory of an event, but it will no longer be upsetting or distressing. Other associated memories may also heal at the same time. This linking of related memories can lead to a dramatic and rapid improvement in many aspects of your life.
In addition to its use for the treatment of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, EMDR is successfully used to work with: