Most people don’t know what EMDR therapy is. It stands for Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR). This psychotherapy technique has been shown to be highly effective in relieving psychological distress. It is an effective treatment for trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
In most psychology sessions you can look where ever you prefer. In EMDR therapy sessions your therapist directs your eye movements while you re-live traumatic or triggering experiences in brief doses. EMDR is believed to be effective because recalling distressing events is often less emotionally upsetting when your attention is diverted. Eye movement while recalling traumatic events also helps move the memory to an area of the brain where it can be processed more effectively. This allows you to be exposed to the memories or thoughts without having a strong psychological response. Over time the impact that the memories or thoughts have on you may be lessened.
EMDR therapy is also being used to treat PTSD, depression, anxiety, panic attacks, eating disorders and addictions.
Amy Sigley is a Tyack Health psychologist who recently presented on EMDR at our monthly Practitioner Clinical Case Conference. Amy shared some compelling examples of how ordinary psychology had been ineffective for patients who had experienced traumatic events and how they responded well to just a few sessions of EMDR therapy. Amy Sigley uses EMDR therapy with patients who she believes may benefit.