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Using EMDR for Trauma

EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprocessing. Making your eyes move quickly from side to side is a form of bilateral stimulation of the brain. This assists the brain in processing material such as a trauma memory, so that you no longer relive the trauma through constantly being triggered by environmental stimuli.

How does it do this?

It is not known how it exactly works yet but the eye movements mimic rapid eye movement [REM] sleep which occurs when we are dreaming. What is known is the trauma memories get isolated and inaccessible to the thinking part of our brain so that we cannot tell that part of our brain where the trauma memory Is held that we are no longer in danger. The survival centre in our brain that alerts us to danger is therefore constantly triggered, and stimulates the biochemical response in the body that makes us ready for 'fight or flight'. This is very unpleasant to experience on a frequent and unpredictable basis.

A few sessions of EMDR will reduce these symptoms so that you sleep better, have fewer intrusive thoughts about the traumatic incident, and can start to resume a more normal life.