Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR)
Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a type of psychotherapy most commonly used to treat symptoms of PTSD or Trauma following a traumatic or triggering experience(s). It is an interactive therapy technique that is used to help people recover from issues caused by traumatic events and experiences such as distressing thoughts, memories, or flashbacks, depression, or anxiety. It has been found to be effective in relieving PTSD as well as psychological stress from other mental health concerns, particularly those intertwined with past trauma.
When someone experiences or witnesses a traumatic event, the brain temporarily shuts off memory processing, meaning that the memory of the traumatic event – including emotions and senses – cannot be processed properly. This means that when traumatic memories are triggered, it can feel as though they are reliving the trauma, such as having intense and vivid flashbacks, intrusive thoughts, and images, as well as nightmares.
EMDR sessions involve recalling traumatic memories in a safe therapeutic environment, whilst your therapist directs your eye movements. In the process of desensitization, the brain is stimulated by the controlled eye movements whilst the memory is being recalled, so the emotional impact of the memory is not so intense. This allows for reprocessing of the memory so that it can be recalled or thought about without experiencing such strong feelings.
Narrative Exposure Therapy (NET)
Narrative Exposure Therapy (NET) is a combination of “narrative therapy” and cognitive behavioural exposure techniques. It helps individuals to establish a coherent life narrative in which they can contextualize traumatic experiences.
The therapist asks the patient to describe his or her emotions, thoughts, sensory information and physiological responses in detail. The patient is asked to narrate the traumatic experience and relive the emotions experienced without losing connection to the present.
This helps the individual to establish a chronological narrative of their life, incorporating some positive events as well as traumatic experiences.
EMDR and NET Can Help With:
Our team of therapists in Surrey are insured and fully qualified. Read their profiles below to find out more about their approach to therapy, and what they can help you with.
Dr Laura Arkless
Clinical Psychologist, EMDR Therapist
EMDR and NET Therapist, Surrey