Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
One of the more interesting developments in recent times is Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR).
Originally formulated by Dr Francine Shapiro in 1989 and used to treat post traumatic stress disorder amongst United States combat veterans, this therapy has and continues to be developed to treat an ever-widening variety of conditions.
Shapiro has advanced the concept of the Adaptive Information Processing model, which posits that EMDR assists clients to access and process distressing memories and to change the associated negative traumatic thoughts and beliefs to more non traumatic realistic ones.
During treatment the client focuses on emotionally distressing thoughts in short bursts while concurrently focusing on a therapist directed external bi-lateral stimulus.
Most commonly used stimuli are sets of eye movements (hence the name of the therapy) although other distractions can be used such as hand tapping or audio stimulation.
To account for the apparent success of this type of treatment Shapiro hypothesizes that EMDR enables the accessing of the 'traumatic memory network', allowing enhanced information processing. Thereby allowing new links to be formed between the original traumatic memory and the newly acquired information.
The EMDR Institute, (2009) state;
"These new associations are thought to result in complete information processing, new learning, elimination of emotional distress, and development of Cognitive insights.' "It attends to the past experiences that have set the groundwork for pathology, the current situations that trigger dysfunctional emotions, beliefs and sensations, and the positive experience needed to enhance future adaptive behaviours and mental health."
EMDR has been under the National Institute for Clinical Excellence Guidelines (NICE) since 2005 and is also recommended by The World Health Organisation (WHO) as well as other countries equivalent bodies.
EMDR has been well validated in research studies to be delivered on an intensive basis, i.e. on a frequent basis such as daily, or several times a week or over the course of a whole day/several days and thereby facilitating the healing process at a much faster pace and enabling the client to achieve healing at sometimes half the rate of weekly delivered therapy.
Intensive EMDR is a special interest of mine and I have been using this effective mode of delivery both in the NHS and in private practice since 2012. I have given talks at several EMDR Conferences both in the UK and Europe on the delivery of Intensive EMDR.
Jacky offers a bespoke Intensive EMDR Therapy package over a once a day frequency, or provided over an all day long frequency for 1-2 days and also over a period of weeks e.g 1-2 days a week then a break and then a further 1-2 days the following week until the treatment is complete. This intensive method of EMDR delivery has shown to provide a rapid recovery time in around half the amount of weekly delivered sessions.