It is now widely recognised as one of the best treatments for processing trauma, PTSD & Complex PTSD which many people who have past trauma such as being in a narcissistic relationship will have. It is widely assumed that severe emotional pain requires a long time to heal and years of talking therapy. There is a lot of research now that says that talking therapy can actually keep a person stuck in a trauma cycle because constantly talking about it, keeps triggering the person bringing up all the somatic feelings in the body.
EMDR therapy shows that the mind can in fact heal from psychological trauma much as the body recovers from physical trauma.
When you cut your hand, your body works to close the wound. If a foreign object or repeated injury irritates the wound, it festers and causes pain. Once the block is removed, healing resumes.
Memories of traumatic events and experiences can sometimes get stuck in the body called somatic memory and this can lead to physical and emotional reactions which are where the debilitating effects of PTSD and C-PTSD come in.
The brain hasn’t time-stamped the event into the past so every trigger that happens brings about an emotional and physical response in the present because the brain perceives imminent danger and the nervous system reacts with fight/flight or freeze to protect oneself.
However, you are not in any danger now and are safe but the memory has got stuck in the body causing the same reactions as if you were right back in the event. This is when illness and disease can occur as the body is producing cortisol and can lead to illnesses such as autoimmune disorders such as fibromyalgia,migraines, adrenal fatigue, gut issues, thyroid problems etc.
Once the memory has been unstuck and now an adult adaptive response can be made, the brain’s information processing system naturally moves toward mental health.
If the system is blocked or imbalanced by the impact of a disturbing event, the emotional wound festers and can cause intense suffering. Once the block is removed, healing can resume.
I have also been trained in a technique called The Flash Technique which allows the processing to start by allowing the traumatic event to get processed without actually thinking about the event.
This is great for those people who are worried about going back into their past and opening a Pandora’s box, worried that they won’t be able to cope.
I am one of only 1600 people worldwide to hold a certification in The Flash technique. EMDR Flash works by the client focusing on a positive engaging focus whilst processing to long term memory in the hippocampus, therefore bypassing the amygdala, the fear centre, and not feeling the intense emotion of the trauma and activating the nervous system whilst the memory is desensitised.
I have heard many clients say “that is like magic” and “I can’t believe I can now think of this without feeling any intense emotion”.
EMDR is endorsed by the World Health Organisation and NICE.
EMDR and EMDR Flash can work in processing the following:
- Childhood trauma and abuse
- Sexual Assault
- Narcissistic Abuse
- Domestic Abuse
- And more…