Eye Movement Desensitisation & Reprocessing (EMDR)
If something very traumatic has happened to you, the memory of it can come crashing back into your mind as flashbacks or nightmares, highly vivid and reliving it without warning. This is because when the trauma happens, the feelings are so overwhelming and you cannot process the information properly. The memory then gets improperly stored in the brain, so the memories keep returning. Whilst these memories cannot be erased completely, EMDR can change the way they are stored in your brain. This makes them much easier to manage, seeing the highly emotional and disturbing memories in new and less distressing ways.
Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is a relatively new nontraditional type of therapy. It has been growing in popularity, particularly for treating people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but more evidence is emerging for it's use in treating anxiety, panic attacks, specific phobias, and social phobias.
When the therapy begins, you’ll be asked to recall that image while moving your eyes back and forth following the therapist's finger movements. The act of doing this is thought to allow your mind to reprocess the information in a way that the brain is better equipped to handle. EMDR appears to work in the same way as what physiologically happens when we are dreaming and in deep Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep. EMDR does not involve the use of medication or hypnosis.
For more information about how EMDR works and what to look for when deciding whether EMDR is for you, a good start is:
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