EMDR is a remarkable treatment method.
This is mostly because of the simplicity of the method and the nigh impossibly swift results.
Furthermore, this treatment does not involve extensive talking about what you have experienced or what you are burdened with, meaning that you also do not have to actively relive the experience.
I mostly use EMDR in order to give relieve from extremely hard-to-take obstacles such as convictions, fears, traumas and negative emotions.
Usually, 3 to 5 sessions suffice in order to accomplish lasting results.
The result usually is that the burden you carry is removed in an emotional sense.
You will not have forgotten the experience, but the strong emotions that go with it will have disappeared.
An other major effect is the obtaining of insight in the way your life is structured. You will be able to find the underlying cause of the fear or behaviour – why you spend all this time living life in a particular manner.
EMDR is therefore, for me, a way of finding out how you work as a person, and how to get your life back on track – to get going once again and to ‘get the wheel turning again’. To give you the opportunity to find back your life.
The beauty of EMDR lies with the quick results it provides.
Next is an elucidation regarding the origins, methods and effects of EMDR.
At the bottom of the page, you can find a supplementary explanatory video.
What is EMDR
Eye Movement Desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR). This means that by eye movement, you will develop reduced sensitivity (to the trauma, fear etc) and so become able to reprocess the event.
It is a therapy for people with permanent suffering from the effects of discomfort, resulting from traumatic experiences. This could be a shocking experience such as a traffic accident or a violent crime.
Also other experiences that affect people’s personal development majorly and still affect them now, such as bullying or childhood injuries, can be treated by using this method.
EMDR is a relatively new therapy. An early version of EMDR was described in 1989 by its developer, the American psychologist Francine Shapiro. In the following years, this procedure evolved and EMDR developed into a full-fledged therapeutic treatment method.
Certain events can be the cause of deep wounds in people’s lives that affect them throughout. Part of these people ‘deal’ with and heal from such experiences by themselves.
Others develop mental complaints.
Often this involves obtrusive memories related to the traumatic event, including terrifying images (reliving, flashbacks) and nightmares.
Other issues often occurring are panic attacks and avoidances.
If certain criteria are met, this is classified as a post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Although EMDR was originally intended for PTSD treatment, recent practice of EMDR has shown that it is in fact suitable for the treatment of a much larger range of mental ailments and complaints linked to avoidance / gloomy behaviour and/or feelings of disgrace, sadness, guilt or anger.
The fundamental idea regarding the origins of each and every of these ailments is that they originate from one or more traumatic experiences.
This means: experiences that have left deep impressions in the individual’s memory, causing him or her to remain haunted by these experiences until this day.
Examples include emotional neglect, lugubrious medical experiences, experience of loss, profession-related issues and other shocking, shameful or otherwise radical experiences.
The most important reason for using EMDR treatment is for helping in processing the memories of these experiences, with the intention of removing or significantly reducing injuries.
In case of a trauma after a singular traumatic experience, individuals are often able to return to their everyday lives after only a few sessions.
How does the process work?
First of all, you will be asked to remember the event including all the associated images, thoughts and emotions. This is primarily used to obtain more information regarding the traumatic experience.
After this, the stage of processing the event can be initiated.
You will be asked to remember the event again, but now in combination with a distracting stimulus.
Generally this stimulus is a finger (or fingers) which will be moving repeatedly from left to right in front of the eyes at a distance of approximately 30 centimetres.
Another method takes place by use of headphones with sounds alternating between the left and right ear.
After one set (for example 20 sounds or finger movements), there is an intermission during which you will be asked to describe whatever comes up.
The EMDR procedure usually brings about a flow of thoughts and images, but also feelings and physical sensations.
Often something changes. After every set of eye movements, the participant will be asked to concentrate on the most prominent change, followed by a new set.
What are the effects of the treatment?
The sets of eye movements or sounds that you are provided with will slowly but surely cause the memories become less dominant and lose their emotional charge.
This implies that it will be easier to remember the event without experiencing the negative feelings associated with it earlier.
In many cases, the images in addition become vaguer or smaller, but it is also possible that less painful aspects present themselves. You might also experience completely new insights or thoughts which make the event less threatening, or which give the event a different meaning. These effects contribute in making it possible to fit the traumatic experience within the history of the person’s life, rather than it being an anomaly.
During the treatment of fears or burdening behaviours (such as a negative self-image), it often becomes clear that the cause of these is located in a very different area than the actual fear or behaviour itself.
We often develop fears or types of behaviour which we do not directly associate with the initial event.
During EMDR treatment we often find that a ‘forgotten’ experience lies at the root of it all.
What else is there to expect?
After finishing the EMDR therapy sessions the effects can last for another while.
Of course, this is positive.
Nonetheless, this may cause a brief moment of experiencing feelings of losing control, for example in the case of a sudden rise of new images or feelings.
It is often reassuring to know that this generally does not last longer than about three days. After these three days, a new ‘balance’ has come about. It is recommended that you keep a diary so you can write down everything that comes up. We can use this in future sessions.
Have a look at the video regarding EMDR below.