Eye Movement Desensitisation & Reprocessing


What is EMDR?

EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing. It is a therapy used to help people recover from distressing events and the problems such as flashbacks, upsetting thoughts or images. EMDR stops difficult memories causing so much distress by helping the brain to reprocess them properly. EMDR is recognised by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) as a treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and the World Health Organisation (WHO), which also recognises it as an effective treatment for children.


EMDR therapy is increasingly being recommended for other issues too, including: depression, phobias and fears ,anxiety, low self-esteem, personality disorders, Addiction, Eating Disorders and Panic Attacks.

How Does it Work?

When a person is involved in a distressing event, they may feel overwhelmed and, therefore, their brain may be unable to process the information like a normal memory. The distressing memory seems to become frozen on a neurological level. When a person recalls the distressing memory, the person can re-experience what they saw, heard, smelt, tasted, thought or felt, and this can be quite intense. Sometimes the memories are so distressing that the person tries to avoid thinking about the distressing event to avoid experiencing the distressing feelings. EMDR helps reduce the distress of all the different kinds of memories, whether it is images, sounds, smells, tastes, physical sensations, thoughts or beliefs.

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What can I expect from a session?

There are eight phases to EMDR therapy.

During the session your therapist will then use bilateral eye movements (or taps or sounds) in a series of ‘sets’ lasting around 25 seconds. After each set, you will be asked for feedback on your experience during the preceding set, before starting the eye movements again.Your therapist may also ask you to recall the original memory and ask you how it seems to you now. This will continue until your feelings of distress have reduced.

How will I feel after my session?

The nature of EMDR means that after your session the treatment will continue to be active in your awareness. This means that you may find yourself thinking about the thoughts you focused on during your session and you may feel the same emotions you experienced during your session.

To help you through this process, allow yourself time and space to relax after an EMDR session and utilise the relaxation techniques you have learnt.

While everyone is different, over time these feelings will generally become less intense and many people say they feel a strong sense of relief after their sessions.

When a person’s mental health problems have their roots in a distressing life event, EMDR can be very effective very quickly.

The Heritage Wellington Mills, 64 Plover Rd, Lindley, Huddersfield HD3 3HR