What is EMDR?

EMDR is an acronym for 'Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing'. EMDR is a powerful psychological treatment method that was developed by an American clinical psychologist, Dr Francine Shapiro, in the 1980s

According to guidance from the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) EMDR is one of the treatments of choice for trauma and PTSD alongside Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).

A wealth of research on the efficacy of EMDR has been conducted, demonstrating its benefits in treating psychological trauma and PTSD from trauma associated with war related experiences, childhood sexual and/or physical abuse or neglect, natural disaster, assault, road traffic accidents and workplace accidents.

Since its original development, EMDR is also increasingly used to help people with phobias, anxiety, pain management, and depression. EMDR has been found to be of benefit to both adults and children, people with learning difficulties, language barriers or those that can’t give details of the trauma.

When someone experiences a traumatic or distressing event, they may feel overwhelmed and their brain may be unable to process the information like a normal memory. The distressing memory seems to become stuck on a neurological level. When they recall the distressing memory, they can re-experience what they saw, heard, smelt, tasted or felt, and this can feel overwhelming. Sometimes the memories are so upsetting; the person tries to avoid thinking about the event to avoid experiencing the distressing feelings.


The alternating left-right stimulation of the brain with eye movements, sounds or taps during EMDR, seems to stimulate the frozen or blocked information processing system.  In the process the memories seem to lose their intensity, so they become less distressing and seem more like ‘ordinary’ memories.

The effect is believed to be similar to that which occurs naturally during REM sleep (Rapid Eye Movement) when your eyes rapidly move from side to side.

It may also be that getting the client to concentrate on left-right stimulation whilst thinking of the distressing memory stops the brain from becoming overwhelmed and allowing the distressing aspects to be processed. 

EMDR helps reduce the distress of all the different kinds of memories, whether it is images, sounds, smells, tastes, physical sensations, thoughts or beliefs.

I am a qualified EMDR therapist and  I am also a  member of  EMDR UK and Ireland. I have also had extra training in using EMDR with Veterans, pain and narrative. I have also completed training in the FLASH technique.

In order to train as an EMDR therapist, it is a requirement that the person is a trained mental health professional with accreditation from their professional body (e.g. British Psychological Society and HPC, GMC (Psychiatrists), UKCP, BABCP, BACP, IACP, etc)

Your investment is £60 for a 1hr session

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The Major Differences Between IEMT and EMDR

As defined by and with thanks to Andrew T. Austin:

EMDR is primarily used to treat "trauma", something it is very effective at doing. However IEMT is much more about the Patterns of Chronicity. These are 5 primary patterns that appear common with, or without a history of trauma.

These five patterns are as follows:

1. Three Stage Abreaction Process

A pattern of escalating emotional behaviour in order to create change in the external environment.

2. The Great Big, "What if..." Question

The use of a single counter-example that sabotages and counteracts any therapeutic generalisation.

3. The Maybe Man Phenomena

The Maybe Man is uncertain of his own experience and this leaks out into his language. By remaining uncertain and without precision he does not commit to his genuine experience or to his identity and thus inadvertently sabotages effective therapy.

4. Testing for Existence of The Problem Rather Than Testing for Change

Even though 99% improvement might be made, if the person with chronicity is able to locate just 1% of the problem existing, this will generally be seen as representative of 100% of the problem existing.

5. Being "At Effect" rather than "Being At Cause"

By being "at effect" the person experiences emotional problems happening to them, rather than being something that happens by them. A person "at effect" will seek 'treatment' rather than seeking 'change'.

IEMT (Integral Eye Movement Therapy)

•Is a model built around addressing and resolving The 5 Patterns of Chronicity

•Has applications in resolving PTSD

•Traumatic imagery is largely irrelevant to the process

•Addresses imprints of emotion for creating kinaesthetic change

•Addresses imprints of identity for creating change in self concept

•Uses eye movement as the dominant mechanism for change

•By design readily creates introspection and an alpha state with free floating imagery

•Prior qualification is not necessary for training in IEMT

•Developed from an original idea from Steve and Connirae Andreas by Andrew T. Austin

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing)

•Is a model built around resolving trauma

•Is an application for resolving PTSD

•Traumatic imagery is central to the work and the client is encouraged to “observe” trauma

•Uses eye movement as well as tapping and alternating sounds

•Utilises affirmations and positive belief statements

•Developed from an original idea from John Grinder by Francine Shapiro

•Only psychologists and medical professionals can be officially certified in EMDR

IEMT addresses and resolves the question, "how did this person learn to feel the way they feel about the things that they feel bad about?" and also “ How did this person learn to be this way?”

I am an advanced practitioner of IEMT and a member of the IEMT Association. Your investment is £60 per session

For more information visit - https://integraleyemovementtherapy.com

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