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What Happens in an EMDR Session?

What Happens in an EMDR Session? This article will focus on what you can expect when you book an EMDR Session. If you have further questions about EMDR and how it might be able to help you or you would like to book a session, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me on 07843 813 537 or fill in the form on the Contact Page.

People undertake EMDR sessions for lots of reasons, often it is because they have experienced some kind of traumatic event, for instance abuse of any kind, assault, war related experiences, natural disaster, surgical trauma road traffic accidents, workplace accidents. For a more in-depth explanation of what issues EMDR helps please see my blog here.

EMDR or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing is a form of psychotherapy and is often used along side traditional talking therapies. When you contact me to arrange a session I will talk to you about what you want to achieve from therapy. You may spend some sessions exploring your history with me and I will explain to you what EMDR is and what to expect from the sessions so that you feel comfortable with what is happening. I am always open to answering any questions or addressing any concerns that you might have.

EMDR helps to process traumatic events and feelings that we are not able to process or move on from because they have become stuck inside our minds. This happens because when something traumatic happens to us we feel overwhelmed, and when we are overwhelmed by what is going on our brains can’t process what is happening. This means that the memory of the event can get “stuck” in a person’s mind, and it can remain very intense and vivid. The person can also feel that they are reliving the experience and the feelings that they felt at the time, over and over. It’s like a person has become stuck reading the same page in book over and over and they aren’t able to turn the page.

EMDR helps the person to turn the page, unstick the memory and reprocess what happened so it isn’t as intense. It also helps the person to reduce the emotional impact of the memory, so that when they do think about it the feelings are not as intense and strong.

When a session of EMDR is taking place a client will be asked to think about the situation or event that was traumatic. As they do this the counsellor will move their hand in front of the client’s eyes from side to side, or they will make a sound in each ear alternately or they will tap on each hand alternately.

It is thought that this side-to-side sensation is similar to when we are sleeping in the REM (Rapid Eye Movement) stage of sleep. In this stage we move our eyes rapidly from side to side as our brain processes what happened in the day. For more information about the research that has been carried out into EMDR how it works and its effectiveness please take a look here. 

As the client tracks the movement of the counsellor’s hand, the noise or the tapping, the traumatic event being held in their brain becomes less disturbing. EMDR does not take the memory away but the client feels less traumatised after this therapy. The International EMDR Association has a useful Introduction Video Here. 

If you want to find out more about what will happen in a session of EMDR please contact me. At the moment and I am only working online or the telephone due to COVID to find out how this works and some things to think about if you are considering Online Support, please take a read of my blog here.  To make an appointment please call me on 07843 813 537 or fill in the form on the Contact Page, if I don’t answer I am probably in a session, please leave me a message and I will call you back as soon as I can. I look forward to hearing from you.

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Counselling Support no matter your locationRemote counselling sessions delivered online or over the phone

Because of the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak, my face to face counselling services are closed until further notice.

However, I am able to offer counselling sessions via telephone or online video calling. There are many advantages to this, such as keeping yourself and others safe, but you may find it's more convenient to have your sessions from the comfort of your own home as well as saving time and money.

My services are no longer restricted to a location and you are welcome to contact me if you need support regardless of where you live. Call now on 07843 813 537 to book your first session or if you would just like a friendly chat about your issues and how I can help.

- Paul Carter