EMDR has been in the headlines

There has been mention in the media of well known names being in therapy recently and in both cases, EMDR has been mentioned. It is indeed a very effective therapy for traumatic events and unless it is a single life event that may be causing a difficulty, it is recommended that the focus is in the first trauma that the client can remember or even if they can’t fully recall it, the emotions they attribute to that experience.

Each session of EMDR attempts to deal with such experiences and then see what else comes up. If another channel is present then that is also dealt with by use of bilateral stimulation. BLS can be following the therapists fingers as they oscillate left- right, following a light bar moving similarly, bilateral tapping or in some cases watching a dot move side to side in a screen.

 There is no right or wrong way. The main thing is to recognise that when dealing with one trauma, others may emerge. Once there is a neutral or positive response then a positive cognition is installed. This is a positive belief that the client has now about their trauma – what they want to believe about themselves now regarding a trauma experienced in the past.

So, however the media portray EMDR, each clients reactions are unique to them and therefore so is the outcome.Trust the process and have faith in the therapy. Then it has a good chance of processing unresolved trauma. It is not without complications which a skilled practitioner can handle. It certainly isn’t a single session panacea. There are eight stages. If all these stages are followed then a positive outcome is achievable. Yet if processing is incomplete there can be accompanying continuing distress- anger, confusion, mist interpretation and other reactions that are not ideal and certainly unwanted.

My point is not to give up, continue processing until all traumatic memories have been processed and only then will the client be truly able to be at peace. If exposure to trauma continues then there is a tendency to experience re-traumatisation. I am sure the well known personalities cited in the media are in the hands of expert practitioners. I hope what we are witnessing is media portrayals of work in progress not the finished article. Just bear that in mind when reading the headlines.

If you are interested in finding out more then access EMDR on my website or give me a call. Then I can explain the full extent and power of this therapy, it’s advantages and the pitfalls, so you are not blinded by the spotlight and headlines.