EMDR is a unique, effective therapy that helps people recover from problems triggered by traumatic events in their lives. It stops difficult memories causing so much distress by helping the brain to reprocess them properly.
EMDR is best known for treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and it can also help with a range of mental health conditions in people of all ages. It is recognised by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).
EMDR was initially developed in 1987 for the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and it is guided by the concept that symptoms of PTSD and other disorders (unless physically- or chemically-based) result from distressing past experiences that continue to be disturbing because the memory has not been adequately processed. These inadequately processed memories are understood to contain the emotions, thoughts, beliefs and physical sensations that occurred at the time of the event. When the memories are triggered these stored disturbing elements are experienced and cause the symptoms of PTSD and/or other disorders.
While many other treatments focus on directly altering the emotions, thoughts and behavioural responses resulting from traumatic experiences, EMDR therapy focuses directly on the memory; it works to change the way the brain stores the memory, thereby reducing and eliminating the problematic symptoms.