Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing or EMDR is a form of psychotherapy that is used to help resolve problems which have originated from traumatic life experiences.
It uses a series of structured therapy sessions to identify past experiences that are the cause of your current problems, and the situations that trigger the current problems. You are helped to become desensitised to negative memories and are also taught self-calming techniques that can be used in day-to-day life.
Techniques used in an EMDR session may include:
- visualising a negative experience while a therapist or psychiatrist quickly moves their hand back and forth across your field of vision. This stimulates rapid eye movement and has been proven to reduce the amount of time you need to process and resolve traumatic memories
- performing this same hand movement while you visualise an image associated with a positive belief. This has been shown to increase your confidence in the positive belief
- keeping a journal to remind yourself of the self-calming technique the therapist has worked with you to develop