EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. It is a brief and effective evidence based treatment that is recognised by NICE for the treatment of trauma.
It is based on the theory that our memories are stored through multiple elements such as thoughts, feelings, sensations or images within the brain. When we experience a traumatic event or events, the memories can sometimes go unprocessed leaving the individual feeling distressed with negative thoughts, feelings and behaviours.
EMDR helps the individual to reduce distress and to strengthen more helpful, adaptive beliefs related to the traumatic event. It works through the individual concentrating on the event(s) through the image, the sensations (smell, sights, feelings, sounds) and processing the memory whilst undergoing side to side eye movements, generated by the therapist.
It results in the memory losing its intensity and becoming more like an ordinary memory.