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Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing is a therapy specifically used for the treatment of psychological trauma. It is a recommended trauma treatment in many national and international guidelines, for e.g. The World Health Organisation, the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies and the guidelines of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) which inform and guide healthcare services provided through the NHS. 

Sometimes when someone experiences a traumatic event the memory can intrusively return forcing the person to relive the event with the same intensity of feeling. This may be because at the time of the event the brain was too overwhelmed to process what was going on. As a result of this these unprocessed memories and the sights and thoughts linked with the event are stored in the brain in a ‘raw’ form and are then accessed when something in the day in day triggers a recollection of the original event. The process of EMDR can alter the way these traumatic memories are stored within the brain making them easier to recall and to manage. The common aims of EMDR therapy are to reduce the re-experiencing of trauma memories and to help you feel more able to cope with and manage trauma memories without needing to avoid potential triggers. In turn this can reduce feelings of stress, anxiety, irritation and hypervigilance.

EMDR may be used a stand alone therapy or may be woven into longer term working where specific memories are worked on. 


If you’d like to read more about EMDR please follow the link to the UK and Ireland EMDR Association for further information on EMDR Therapy:

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