EMDR Psychologist

Explanation of EMDR therapy by a psychologist


The EMDR model assumes that emotional memories  contain the emotions, thoughts, beliefs and physical sensations that occurred at the time of the event and that these are stamped in in the neural circuits of the brain. It is assumed that in caveman days, events that took place that were highly emotional, for example, being attacked by a sabre tooth tiger. An ability to never forget this event was of evolutionary advantage to that person. He or she never forgot that sabre tooth tigers can kill! So if the memory is stored “in the emotional trauma centre” of the brain, this memory could be triggered by the sight of, the smell of and any reminder of that near death event. Although the memory is unpleasant it would in the past have served to keep that person safe from sabre tooth tigers. 

When the memories are triggered, these stored disturbing emotions and physical feelings and the thoughts of the time, are experienced and cause the symptoms of PTSD and/or other disorders. So, emotions and conclusions about yourself and the world can be stable in your emotional makeup, and be no longer useful in everyday life. 

Unlike other treatments that focus on talking about the emotions, thoughts and responses resulting from traumatic experiences, EMDR therapy focuses directly on the memory, and is intended to change the way that the memory is stored in the brain, thus reducing and eliminating the problematic symptoms. The intervention method used by the psychologist, is, after extensive discussion about the situation and how it has affected you, the psychologist works directly with the brain based memory, asking the client to follow a series of bilateral eye movement. Some think that the eye movements are replicating effects of REM sleep.  

When can you benefit from EMDR Therapy

The EMDR treatment is conditionally recommended for the treatment of the symptoms that can arise from having been in a trauma. They are many. 

Classic Posttraumatic Stress symptoms are becoming quite well known. The person may experience flashbacks, panic attacks and other strong emotions when triggered. 

Depression is  a less well known outcome of trauma. Initially the client may feel anxiety about the events, but over time it is as if in an effort not to feel anxious, that persons whole emotional makeup becomes down regulated and it can be difficult to feel anything at all. This is a key symptom of depression – motivation is low and there is little experience of pleasure. 

Withdrawal from relationships with others suffer as after a trauma, it appears to others that “no-one is home” as that person is preoccupied with their own emotions and thoughts. 

Avoidance of certain situations may occur. This avoidance may in the short term, reduce that persons anxiety, but in the long term makes the achievement of life goals difficult.

Results can be excellent, (although that can never be guaranteed) Your psychologist will let you know after an evaluation of suitability for treatment using EMDR. Outcomes tend to be better if there is one traumatic event. Unfortunately in this private practice setting, it is difficult to treat complex trauma, that is, numerous traumatic events most likely suffered in childhood. There is hope for treatment of complex trauma, but it is better to seek a treatment setting where it is realistic to engage in therapy over a number of months or sometimes years.

The psychologists who do EMDR therapy are:

 Helen White

Jo England

You are welcome to ring reception and find which psychologist would be the best match for you.