First Psychology Edinburgh – counselling | CBT | psychotherapy | coaching

EMDR (eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing) for trauma in Edinburgh city centre

What is EMDR?

EMDR is a therapy designed to replicate the rapid eye movement (REM) process that occurs when we sleep. The REM process is thought to help deal with difficult or upsetting memories, allowing us to gradually come to terms with them.

When people have difficult experiences and get very upset, their brains sometimes struggle to process the experience fully and this can lead to a feeling that they are stuck in the moment, which may repeat itself vividly in their head and force them to go through the event over and over again. This can cause extreme distress and prevent people from getting on with their lives.

During an EMDR session, you will be asked to move your eyes from side to side while also thinking of events that have caused upset and distress. This helps the brain process difficult memories and resume normal information processing. EMDR is not a talking therapy, so there is no pressure to say what the memory is (although sometimes people choose to). The process aims to make a painful or disturbing memory feel less upsetting.

What is EMDR used for?

EMDR is mainly used to help with traumatic feelings resulting from traumatic events we have experienced, such as a road accident, a physical violation or the loss of a loved one. It is most commonly used for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but increasingly used to address problems such as performance anxiety, panic attacks, eating disorders and body dysmorphic issues, phobias, addictions, pain disorders, OCD, grief, anger, stress, personality disorders, and physical / sexual abuse. 

Does EMDR work?

Scientific research has shown EMDR to be effective for trauma-related issues such as PTSD and phobias. However, although EMDR is a popular therapy, it is important to say that it is not suitable for all types of psychological trauma or difficulty, and therefore the EMDR practitioner will always undertake a thorough assessment with each client before agreeing that EMDR is the right type of approach to take. In some instances, such as where things are very complicated or a client struggles to manage things when they are distressed, EMDR may not be seen as suitable and therefore alternative approaches may be suggested – either as a way of building up to EMDR or as an alternative approach with the aim of achieving the same outcome through different means.

How do I find out more or make a booking?

We would be delighted to answer and questions you may have about our EMDR service or to book an appointment for you with one of our experienced practitioners. To find out more please contact us.

Practitioners offering EMDR in Edinburgh: