EMDR therapy is a powerful psychotherapy technique which has been very effective in helping people deal with trauma, anxiety, panic, disturbing memories, post traumatic stress and many other emotional problems. Until recently, these conditions were difficult and time-intensive to treat. EMDR therapy is considered a breakthrough therapy because of its simplicity and that it can bring quick and lasting relief for most types of emotional distress.

EMDR therapy uses bilateral stimulation, right/left eye movement, or tactile stimulation, which activates both sides of the brain, and accesses emotional experiences that are frozen in the memory network. This assists the neurophysiological system in forging associations and links with the adaptive memory network to free itself of blockages and reconnect itself.

EMDR therapy is also useful for a whole range of clinical applications which includes:

  • Executive Coaching/Peak performance
  • Phobias
  • Panic Disorder
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder
  • Generalised anxiety disorder
  • Grief
  • Depression
  • Anger
  • Low self-esteem
  • Childhood abuse
  • Performance and test anxiety
  • Physical/Sexual abuse
  • Marital relationship difficulties
  • Sleep disturbances, especially 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 marital and sexual dysfunction.

Please click here to check the evidence base and publications for the efficacy of EMDR.

Trauma/Addictions/Perfomance/Breaking through barriers/Coping with stress

EMDR therapy is not just limited to negative symptoms and memories. EMDR 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? Depending on the context of the presenting problem, EMDR can range from 4 sessions for a relatively straightforward recent single-episode trauma event to multiple sessions for a client with dissociative disorder. During your initial consultation with a trained EMDR therapist, relevant factors will be considered to help you to move forward with EMDR and the number/frequency of sessions you need.

DR MATTHEW WOO