EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing. It is really effective in treating trauma and is therefore recommended by the UK’s National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) for treating Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). It is also effective in treating panic disorder, phobias, low mood, chronic pain, grief and low self-esteem, especially when these difficulties started after a specific event.
I really enjoy using EMDR because it produces great improvement and faster than many other types of therapy. I am trained in all three levels of EMDR for adults. I have also completed additional training sessions of utilising EMDR to target traumatic births and traumatic losses.
Furthermore, I have completed the training in adapting EMDR, to help children and adolescents process difficult memories. EMDR can help children as young as two years old. With very young children, their parent and I would write a story about the difficult event and then we would read it to the child in a session altogether. The parent would be encouraged to tap the child’s shoulders throughout the story to stimulate the left and right side of the child’s brain to help process the memory. From around 5-6 years old, children sometimes prefer not to have a parent present during the processing. At this age, children usually draw a simple picture of the difficult event, whilst again stimulating the left and right side of their brain in a fun way, such as by playing the drums. Children are encouraged to enjoy just playing with toys in the therapy room at the end of each session, so that they don’t leave thinking about the upsetting event. Children tend to love EMDR sessions, they are not as difficult as many parents worry they will be for their child. Children also process difficult memories very quickly so often parents notice huge improvements emotionally and behaviourally in just a few sessions.
If you feel EMDR could be helpful for you and/or you would like an assessment to further explore its appropriateness for you or your child, then please do contact me.