Eye Movement De-sensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR)

One of the main roles of our brain is to protect us from danger and new situations, and prepare us to respond to them. Our brains store information about situations we have been through in a organised way, so that we can access the memories and details when we need them (for example, what we had for lunch today, where we went last Saturday and the sensations we experienced when we were on that trip abroad).

However, when we experience a difficult and traumatic event or we find ourselves in an overwhelming situation, our brains may have difficulty processing and organising the memory or the emotions linked to it in our brain memory system. EMDR can help the brain to organise memories or part of memories to reduce the emotional impact they have on us.

EMDR may not always be indicated when we have strong emotions associated with difficult memories, and there are other ways to help the brain process a memory (for example, trauma focused CBT).

In order to help us decide whether EMDR is the most appropriate therapy, we conduct an assessment, which includes information about our experiences and how our brains respond to strong emotions. There are circumstances when other techniques may be more appropriate than EMDR, and sometimes, it may be necessary or helpful to do some psychological work before someone is ready to start EMDR.