Clinical Psychology Service in Cornwall and Online


EMDR – Eye Movement Desensitisation and Re-processing

Our minds have developed the ability to heal when something unexpected or distressing occurs in our day to day lives. We may feel better after talking to a friend or loved one as this can enable us to make sense of our experience into a story with a beginning, middle and an end. When we sleep on it our brain further sorts the distressing information and we wake up with a little more perspective as the memory of the event is processed and stored in language form.

However, when something out of the ordinary occurs and we are shaken by an overwhelming event like a road traffic accident, or by being repeatedly subjected to distress as in childhood neglect or domestic abuse, our mind can become overloaded.

This can result in the images, body sensations and emotions connected to disturbing experiences remaining frozen in our minds in a raw form.

These raw memory fragments can then be triggered when we experience events that remind us of the original incident.

EMDR Truro

Often the details of the memory itself are long forgotten, but the painful feelings are frequently triggered in the present. EMDR aims to help the mind to create connections between memory networks, processing the raw memory into a story form.

EMDR practitioners believe that the use of eye movements or tapping while remembering these connections facilitates the processing of distressing memories by stimulating both sides of the brain. It is also found that doing this while continually re-visiting the sensations connected to the memory with the support of a therapist gradually helps our mind to learn that the event is in the past and no longer a threat.

There is now a large body of evidence that EMDR is highly effective in helping reduce the detrimental effects of trauma, anxiety, depression and phobias (see for more information).

To be safe and effective EMDR should be carried out according to a specialised protocol by a practitioner with a core clinical training as well as an accredited training in EMDR. The facilitation provided by the EMDR practitioner enables the mind to activate its own natural healing process.

“I frequently employ EMDR within my therapeutic work because I have found it to be a very effective and respectful way of reducing the experience of distress.”




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