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Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR)

EMDR is used for individuals who have post-traumatic stress disorder/experienced single or ’one-off’ trauma that remains unresolved, which can leave them feeling overwhelmed and their brain cannot process the information as a ‘normal’ memory. When a person recalls an unresolved memory, they can re-experience what they saw, heard, felt, smelt or tasted and this can be intense. Sometimes the memories are so distressing the person tries to avoid thinking about them or avoids things related to the memory, to avoid re-experiencing distressing feelings.

With careful preparation and the support of your therapist, EMDR includes focusing on the traumatic images, thoughts, emotions and bodily sensations of the distressing memory whilst activating the left and right side of the brain. This activates the unresolved distressing memory and allows processing of the memory to take place. The distressing memory gradually loses its intensity to then become a ‘normal’ memory. The lingering effects and distress of the memory reduce, releasing the negative self-beliefs related to the trauma. EMDR can be a powerful and sometimes rapid treatment. It does not require detailed description of the trauma event, exposure work or homework outside of the treatment sessions.



Sunderland Psychological Wellbeing Service Self Refer