What is EMDR?

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing , EMDR was founded by the American psychotherapist Francine Shapiro in 1987. In the beginning it was developed as a method to treat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). There is a lot of scientific research, which proves its positive effects. Nowadays EMDR is used in many countries and is also a method which can be used in coaching and psychological counselling for healthy individuals in their everyday life issues.

The method is based on bilateral stimulation, which repeatedly activates the left and right sides of the brain. The stimulation releases difficult emotional experiences that are “trapped” in the nervous system. EMDR  stimulates the mind and body connection, to release the blockages and reconnect the “trapped” experiences. After the painful emotions are processed through certain eye-movement patterns, the client feels freed from the problem.

EMDR is a method, which can be used in many everyday life issues in counselling and coaching too. It can bring fast and long-lasting help for many different kinds of problems.

What happens in the EMDR session?

An EMDR session begins with the counsellor guiding the client to describe the problem that they wish to work on. If the client feels unable to talk much about the issue, that is also accepted. The client is asked to imagine the problematic thoughts and feelings in his mind, the counsellor and client then work together to redirect the eye movements that accompany the briefly recalled experience. With the bilateral stimulation of the eye movements (repeated a couple of times in the session) the accompanying emotions are released. The stimulation with the eye movements continue until the emotions are neutral and the event is associated with positive thinking and feelings.

How long does the EMDR session last?

Typically, an EMDR session in my practice lasts 50-60 minutes. The length of the session can be individually defined depending on the client’s needs. Sometimes only a set of a few sessions is enough. On average a client needs 3 to maximum 10 sessions once a week depending on the problem.

I combine EMDR method with client-centered talking and thought diaries. We will discuss the plan so that you will know what to expect. In the beginning of each counselling I need to evaluate whether or not EMDR is the suitable choice for the client.

Is EMDR session uncomfortable?

Generally not. Sometimes the treatment can evoke strong emotions or sensations during a session. This is normal, since the technique works on the negative feelings which are brought into the client’s awareness. However, these unpleasant feelings are brief and they will soon leave you when the process is completed.

What happens between EMDR sessions?

Between the sessions, it is helpful for the client to keep a diary in which he records any unexpected thoughts or feelings. He or she can then bring their notes to the next session. The diary can help the counsellor to know whether any adjustments are needed.

After the session, a strong sense of relief, a feeling of openness or even euphoria may occur. These kinds of feelings are normal and they only show that some relief has happened.

EMDR is not Hypnosis

During an EMDR session, the client is awake and in control all the time.  Studies show that the effect with this method can even be faster than with hypnosis. Like hypnosis, EMDR seems to work with the unconscious mind, bringing into consciousness the repressed thoughts and feelings that must be experienced again in order to release their hold on the client.

How do I know whether EMDR is right for me?

I will discuss with you all the relevant factors in order to decide if it is useful for you to start with this particular method. I will evaluate these factors in your specific case to consider if the EMDR technique would be the right way to help you in your particular situation and history or if another method would be more suitable.

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