A primer to EMDR therapy in Singapore
What Is EMDR Therapy?
EMDR stands for eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing. Its original proponent, Francine Shapiro, developed the therapy after noticing that certain eye movements reduced the intensity of traumatic thoughts or memories. For patients suffering from panic, anxiety, troubling memories, trauma, and PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), EMDR can be a highly effective form of treatment. It is classified as a psychotherapy technique akin to the cognitive behavioral therapy often used for PTSD.
When a therapist uses EMDR with a patient, he or she hopes to soften the harsh effects of traumatic memories. Through EMDR, the therapist introduces new coping mechanisms and teaches the patient a different psychological response to those memories. Today, EMDR therapy is a widely accepted form of treatment. In fact, it is often one of the first treatments given to patients with psychological trauma.
How Does EMDR Work?
The various modalities for applying EMDR treatment can involve auditory or tactile stimulation, or right and left eye movements. All modalities are forms of bilateral stimulation, through which both hemispheres of the person’s brain are activated. The stimulation of the brain permits accesses to the traumatic experiences that are clogging the brain’s memory network and causing the patient’s disorder. EMDR usually proceeds in eight distinct phases— history and treatment planning, preparation, assessment, desensitisation, installation, body scan, closure, and reevaluation.
Which Conditions Can EMDR Treat?
EMDR therapy is now widely recognized as a first line treatment of trauma (e.g., American Psychiatric Association, 2004; Bisson & Andrew, 2007; Bleich et al., 2002; CREST, 2003; VA/DoD, 2004; Foa et al., 2009; INSERM, 2004;NICE, 2005)
If you suffer from a panic disorder, phobias, grief, anger, depression, low self-esteem, or performance anxiety, you may find relief with EMDR. The technique is also helpful for victims of crime, disasters, abuse, sexual addiction/deviation, accidents, fire, surgery, or trauma from a dysfunctional family. People with obsessive compulsive disorder, generalised anxiety disorder, sleep trouble, dissociative disorder, pathological gambling, or negative body image have also found EMDR to be instrumental in their relief and recovery.
EMDR therapy can help with a wide range of conditions that include:
- Panic disorder
- Obsessive compulsive disorder
- Geneneralised anxiety disorder
- Low self esteem
- Childhood abuse
- Performance and test anxiety
- Physical/Sexual abuse
- Marital relationship difficulties
- Sleep disturbances, especially with nightmares
- Sexual assault victims
- Sexual addiction/deviation
- Dissociative disorder or traits
- Negative body image
- Pathological gambling
- Victims of crime
- Victims of natural and manmade disasters
- Victims of accident, surgery and burnt victims
- Victims of family, marital and sexual dysfunction
What Is the EMDR Peak Performance Protocol?
EMDR therapy is not just limited to negative symptoms and memories. EMDR therapy can also be used to enhance performance at the workplace for high performing clients. The EMDR peak performance protocol is designed to help clients in business, performing and creative arts and sports using the full sensory experience of successful future responding which is rehearsed and integrated using bilateral stimulation. The peak performance protocol is typically undertaken over 4-6 sessions and gives individuals the extra edge in performance.
How Many Sessions Do I Need?
At one time, conditions like these took many intensive sessions to treat, with limited success. Using the breakthrough EMDR therapy, however, people suffering from emotional stress can find swift, long-lasting relief.
The number of sessions you will need depends on the extent and severity of your trauma or condition. For single-episode events or peak performance assistance, clients typically have 4-6 sessions. However, for a deep-seated disorder or a trauma that occurred over a number of years, more sessions may be necessary. When you first consult with an experienced EMDR therapist, you will be evaluated and advised on the best course of treatment for your specific situation.
Let Us Help You
Adelphi Psych Medicine Clinic has a team of clinicians that include psychiatrists, psychologists and therapists in Singapore who work together to provide holistic care treatments, including EMDR, for various conditions. Services that you can expect from Adelphi Psych Medicine Clinic will include pharmacotherapy, hypnotherapy as well as a wide range of therapy services including CBT, EMDR, Art Therapy and many others.
If you would like to find out more about EMDR therapy, contact us by filling in the form below.