EMDR rests on the premise that our brain naturally moves towards healing. When we have been overwhelmed by a traumatic experience, the trauma can remain fixed or stuck in our body. Symptoms of unresolved trauma may be experienced as panic attacks, anxiety, or other emotional hardship. As EMDR works aligning body and mind through a scripted protocol, the brain is given the space it needs to process and heal the trauma. It does not erase or create memories, but rather brings the person to a place where a traumatic experience remains sad without the person being susceptible to activating events (triggers).
EMDR therapy is distinct from talk therapy as it does not require sharing in detail the content of distressing issues. This may be a positive consideration, particularly for clients who struggle imagining themselves sharing detailed specifics of some of their most painful experiences. The person remains awake, present, and in control as their brain shifts towards healing.
Although trauma is the primary use-case for EMDR, it is effective for a wide variety of presenting problems.
- Anxiety, panic attacks, and phobias
- Chronic Illness and medical issues
- Depression and bipolar disorders
- Dissociative disorders
- Eating disorders
- Grief and loss
- Performance anxiety
- Personality disorders
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other trauma and stress-related issues
- Sexual assault
- Sleep disturbance
- Substance abuse and addiction
- Violence and abuse
If you are interested in exploring the use of EMDR, as a standalone therapy or in conjunction with other modalities, consider Nightingale’s EMDR trained clinical counsellors.