What is EMDR Therapy?
At Turning Tides Psychology, we offer EMDR for a number of different mental health difficulties, though it is most commonly used to help treat trauma (or PTSD). EMDR therapy helps individuals to reprocess memories from the past, which may still be triggering for them in the present. This happens because the event was not processed properly at the time at which it occurred. This is because the brain was overloaded at the time and the natural healing by the brain was blocked. These memories are stored in the brain in a ‘raw’ format with no verbal narrative. Often the memory itself may not be recalled but present-day triggers in the form of thoughts, body sensations or beliefs about oneself can activate the memory networks. For example most people can relate to certain smells triggering memories from the past.
EMDR uses bilateral stimulation (BLS) (eye movements from left to right, or taps left and right) which helps to reprocess the memory. This leads to ‘adaptive resolution’ which means that it no longer has a triggering affect in the present helping an individual to regain control of their life. EMDR helps the person to see the situation from a different perspective and create new meaning, which may have been blocked at the time.
What can EMDR be used for?
EMDR therapy has been found to be particularly effective for significant trauma (PTSD). However, it can also be useful for treating a range of ‘small t’ traumas. These might relate to smaller incidents from the past for example being criticised or rejected. Often these trauma memories continue to be activated in the present and feed into common mental health problems like anxiety or depression. EMDR therefore can be helpful for a wide range of mental health difficulties including:
- Health anxiety
- Performance anxiety
- Complicated grief
How does EMDR work?
EMDR has a particular structure and your psychologist will work with you to set up a treatment plan. The steps include initial assessment where the psychologist will assess current symptoms and link back to past triggers. During the assessment your readiness will also be assessed. Often clients will need some time to build up coping skills to tolerate going into past traumas before the reprocessing stages of EMDR can be started.
Once you and your psychologist feel you are ready to start the reprocessing stages your psychologist will guide you on which memories to start with and you will build a timeline together.
What evidence is there that EMDR is effective?
EMDR has been extensively researched and is recommended by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) as an effective treatment for trauma.
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For a free 15-minute consultation with a psychologist complete the contact us form.
We have tried to keep our pricing as simple and straightforward as possible. We charge £120 for a 60 minute appointment, regardless of whether this is an assessment or therapy session. Our fees are the same for face-to-face appointments and online appointments as you will receive the same high standard of care from our psychologists, regardless of how it is delivered.
Why choose a psychologist?
All clinical psychologists are educated to doctoral level. This means as a minimum they have completed a degree in Psychology and a doctorate in Clinical Psychology. Their training spans a minimum of 6 years of education, although often psychologists have done further education and training than this.
Psychologists are trained to understand how the brain works and how this can contribute to common mental health problems. One of a psychologists core skill is developing an understanding of why you behave in a certain way and what is maintaining the problem. This is called a psychological formulation. Psychologists have the skills and training to work with a wide range of mental health difficulties from mild problems to the more complex presentations. Psychologists are trained in a wide range of evidence based talking therapies and can often blend these together where needed. Each formulation and treatment plan they develop is completely bespoke to your individual needs.
Is a psychologist the same as a counsellor?
No. Counsellors work with people who need a safe place to speak in order to manage their distress. They help the client to reflect on their situation to find their own answers. Counsellors are usually trained to Masters level and tend not to work with people who may have more complex mental health problems. If you are looking for more general support a counsellor may be a good option but if you require more intensive therapy a psychologist may be a better fit. It is important to research and choose a qualified professional who can provide the help you need.