EYE MOVEMENT DESENSITISATION REPROCESSING (EMDR)

Trauma and Beyond

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing) is a powerful, state of the art psychotherapeutic treatment approach (EMDR Works), which was developed by American Psychologist Francine Shapiro in 1987. The development of EMDR methodology grew rapidly, with it’s effectiveness and efficacy validated by comprehensive and extensive research, and is the recommended trauma treatment of choice by NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence), which advises the NHS on evidence-based treatments.

EMDR, which uses eye movements and/or other forms of bilateral stimulation to assist clients in processing distressing memories and beliefs. The dysfunctional nature of such memories includes the way in which they are stored, and allows a negative effect and beliefs from the past to control the thinking and behaviour in the present. EMDR processing of such memories allows for a more positive empowering present affect and understandings to generalise to the associated memories throughout the neurophysiological networks, which leads spontaneously to more appropriate and beneficial thinking, feeling and behaviours.

It has proven to be effective for a range of difficulties which are often rooted in adverse life experiences which can lead to a range of problems, including:

  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)/Complex Trauma

  • Depression

  • Phobias

  • OCD

  • Addiction

  • Panic Disorder/Social Anxiety

  • Stress

  • Sleep problems

  • Complicated grief

  • Chronic/Phantom pain

  • Low self-esteem/confidence and performance related anxieties

The treatment consists of several sessions, dependent on the nature of the problem. In the case of a trauma sustained in adulthood, there will be 1 or 2 assessment sessions, followed by 1 or 2 sessions preparation phase for EMDR treatment using a range of preliminary techniques, and at least 2 treatment sessions. The number of treatment sessions will depend upon the nature and number of distressing memories or the nature of the problem.

EMDR can be combined with CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) to optimise treatment outcomes, or as a stand-alone treatment programme. The initial consultation will help you to explore and consider which approach is best for you as part of an individualised treatment programme.


For further information and questions, please do contact Sharon Martin, our Lead Practitioner in EMDR, and/or visit https://www.getselfhelp.co.uk/docs/EMDR.pdf.

The Cambridgeshire Centre for CBT&EMDR offers EMDR practices by a highly trained and experienced therapist.