Eye Movement Trauma Therapy (EMDR/EMI) in Colchester Essex

An eyeball - EMDR Colchester for Trauma

Colchester trauma therapy and PTSD treatment – EMDR & EMI

Eye Movement Therapy (also known as EMDR and EMI)

Eye Movement Therapy (such as Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing EMDR and Eye Movement Integration EMI) are used by the British Army to treat PTSD in soldiers returning from war zones. It is a gentle process that involves you following my finger with your eyes in a series of patterns designed to release trauma stored in the brain. In my Colchester therapy practice, eye movement therapy is one of the most effective treatments for PTSD.

[news] World Health Organisation Recommend EMDR for PTSD

As we progress through a series of the movements, you will be asked to either focus on the feelings that arise in your body when you think about the trauma, or the images that you see in your mind. As with everything, this is done at your pace to a level that you feel comfortable with.

EMDR/EMI type trauma treatment in Colchester, Essex

This technique amazes me with how quickly an emotional response can be reduced. Things that once seemed impossible to talk about can quickly become (in a matter of minutes some times) a simple story from the past that no longer causes that uncomfortable, uncontrollable emotional surge.

Eye Movement Integration (such as EMDR) techniques can help you by processing upsetting memories, thoughts and feelings related to the trauma that you experienced. This allows you to gain freedom from the distressing effects of PTSD.

EMDR for Trauma Treatment in Colchester

What to expect

We will initially evaluate your level of discomfort at focusing on the upsetting memory. If it is too difficult for you to visualise the memory or focus too directly on it, we may simply focus on the feelings you get at the thought of considering the memory. If even this is too difficult for you at first, then we will make use of other techniques for creating a feeling of safety in working on these memories.

Everything is at your pace and you will never me made to do something that you are not comfortable with.

Next you will hold the feelings, images, or perhaps sounds of the memory in mind, while you also follow my finger with your eyes in a series of back-and-forth patterns. After 20 to 30 seconds of this, we will discuss the experience. This will be repeated as the process develops.

In between movements, you will be asked to evaluate the level of distress that you are feeling. Very often, this drops rapidly between movements. This can be quite astonishing.

After a series of these movements, when the time is right, we will begin to focus on positive insights and beliefs that can replace the old thoughts and feelings.

Are there any risks with this PTSD treatment?

There are no known risks associated with EMDR or EMI. A very few people initially feel a little discomfort from the eye movements, but this tends to pass and the benefits of the therapy are considered worth it. There may also be some initial emotional discomfort from focusing on the challenging memories. Again, the aim is to resolve this as the session continues, leaving you in a much better place.

Do I have to talk about my trauma?

One of the great things about this treatment, is that you do not have to discuss the trauma out loud if you do not wish to. I can simply ask you to bring it to mind. Many clients who start out feeling like they can’t discuss what has happened, are able to after a short time working with the therapy, as it releases the challenging negative emotions.

How long does treatment last?

Every client that I see is unique, so it is impossible for me to say for sure how long we will work together. I combine eye movement therapy (EMDR/EMI) with other trauma release therapies to help you gain freedom in the fastest, safest and most effective way possible.

How does EMDR/EMI PTSD treatment in Colchester work?

There are several theories as to how eye movement therapy works. Each is concerned with how the brain stores and processes memories. Traumatic memories are given a special status in the brain, flagged up as essential to be remembered for our survival in order to help steer us from encountering them again.

Many traumatic events are unlikely to be experienced again, and do not need to be flagged with such high priority. EMDR and EMI help to downgrade the level of importance given to the memory, by scrambling it. Focusing on the past memory while also focusing on the finger activity in the present, creates a new version of the memory, which is regarded as non-threatening by the brain.

Alongside this, the patterns of the eye movements recreate those of the Rapid Eye Movement stage of sleep, where memories are processed and taken from the emotional memory to the story memory. Traumatic memories flagged up as important to remember, are not processed during the REM stage of sleep, as the brain considers it important to retain the emotional content so that we can avoid the event again. By holding the memory in mind while following REM patterns, we can ‘trick’ the brain into processing the emotional memory into story memory.

The British Psychological Society explain this including relevant research in an online article here.

Find out more about Trauma PTSD treatment in Colchester Essex

Live the life You'd Love to Live

Victoria Ward Cognitive Hypnotherapy and EMDR/EMI in Colchester