EMDR THERAPY

Healing trauma, moving towards the life you want.

INTRODUCTION

Studies over the past 30 years have proven Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) as one of the most successful individual therapy methods for trauma.

Challenging the popular belief that severe emotional distress requires a long time to heal, EMDR psychotherapy often accelerates the process of healing. Focusing on internal processing – rather than extensive talking, as used in traditional therapies – this powerful, natural and interactive practice integrates cognitive, emotional and somatic approaches. By accessing our deep body and sensory feelings linked to traumatic experiences – as well as thoughts and emotions – EMDR taps into the body’s natural healing process. A recovery from trauma is usually hindered by the impact of a devastating event, leading to prolonged agitation of psychological wounds and severe pain. Similar to the treatment of physical ailments, once the blocks are removed, healing from the emotional distress caused by traumatic memories can resume – meaning people are able to move forward in their lives.

EMDR therapy is not only effective in helping people dealing with traumatic experiences or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)-related issues, but also with a multitude of other conditions. There is a strong correlation between unresolved trauma and occurrence of anxiety, depression, panic attacks, phobias, eating disorders and addictions. Healing wounds left by traumatic events, not only allows clients to move past their disturbing experiences, but also often removes a cause of resulting emotional distress.

At ClearBlues Counselling, through tailored EMDR therapy, our aim is to reduce your distress in the shortest possible time and empower you to move past trauma.

ABOUT EMDR THERAPY

EMDR is considerably different from traditional talking counselling or psychotherapy; the therapeutic process is highly structured and follows strict protocol. During EMDR therapy sessions, clients access emotionally disturbing memories in short sequences, while at the same time, pay attention to external stimulus – lateral eye movement and hand tapping being the most commonly used. Engaging the mind in more intensive information processing directs it to new paths of addressing traumatic memories. In turn, the mind is guided to new associations, new learning and making meaning about the self and the world. By addressing past dysfunctions, current distress, and future templates of successful functioning and being, EMDR therapy leads to relief of emotional distress, reformulation of negative beliefs and cognitions, and reduction of psychosomatic agitation.

We often think of trauma in specific terms, generally concerned with major events that can be categorised as significant catastrophes. Often referred to as ‘capital t traumas’ these events usually refer to life threatening experiences like: natural disasters, acts of violence, serious accidents, etc.  In fact, any distressing event occurring outside of the normal human experience can be considered traumatic. Either single, or a long-term series of highly distressing events like bullying or harassment, emotional abuse, non-life threatening injuries, or a particularly strict upbringing are considered as ‘small t traumas’. Although less likely to cause PTSD, these experiences deeply affect individuals on a personal level.

Recognised in National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines as an effective therapy method for PTSD and other trauma-related presentations, EMDR can help a diverse range of emotional difficulties. These problems can be arise from distressing life experiences or psychological trauma and may involve, for example:

  • Accidents: road traffic, workplace
  • Addiction
  • Anxiety
  • Assault
  • Body dysmorphic issues
  • Childhood abuse and / or neglect
  • Chronic pain
  • trauma
  • Depression
  • Dissociative disorders
  • Disturbing memories
  • Domestic violence and abuse
  • Grief and loss
  • Natural disasters
  • OCD
  • Panic attacks
  • Personality disorders
  • Phobias
  • PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)
  • Relationship break ups
  • Stress
  • Violence and abuse
  • War trauma

EMDR counselling is suitable for children and adults of all ages that have experienced either a single incident or repeated trauma. We welcome people aged 16 and above from all backgrounds, ethnic groups and socioeconomic statuses to ClearBlues Counselling that want to overcome painful memories – regardless of sexuality, gender or any other attributes.

As with all tailored therapeutic approaches at ClearBlues Counselling, your therapist will explore with you how EMDR will best work for your personal situation, after a thorough assessment. Your unique needs will also guide the length of time needed for completing EMDR therapy and choosing how it is delivered. Typically, EMDR is short to mid-term work.

Want to move forward? Book an initial consultation at ClearBlues Counselling now using the online contact form, or by getting in touch via email or phone. 

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WHO CAN BENEFIT FROM EMDR THERAPY – IS EMDR THERAPY FOR ME?

The concept of reliving painful memories in therapy can be frightening, stressful and isolating. This is completely natural and understandable. At ClearBlues Counselling, our priority is to provide a safe, welcoming and calming environment to support your personal needs and guide you through the healing process.

EMDR is a research-based therapy that has been extensively proven as being highly effective for specifically healing trauma. This approach may be right for you if:

• Traditional therapy feels blocked
• You have experienced a trauma, such as the loss of a loved one, child abuse, sexual or physical abuse, an assault, accident or other psychologically damaging event
• You suffer from anxiety, depression, addiction, a phobia or other mental health issue.

WHAT TO EXPECT DURING AN EMDR THERAPY SESSION?

Your first EMDR therapy session at ClearBlues Counselling will be an initial consultation. This time is used to establish a connection with your therapist, to make sure you’re comfortable progressing a therapeutic relationship together. Working collaboratively, your therapist will help you to identify how EMDR – and potentially other approaches – can be of benefit. While explaining the different therapy techniques and making recommendations bespoke to your needs, you’ll be able to ask any questions and discuss any concerns you may have. At this initial consultation, we’ll mutually agree on wellness goals, how your therapy will be delivered and the frequency of your sessions.

EMDR differs from other therapeutic approaches as it follows a standard eight-phase process. Each will be explored in detail at your initial consultation, starting with taking a complete history regarding your possible targets for EMDR. Targets considers your current stresses and painful memories, feelings or issues from your past, to provide the focus for EMDR. This may initially include your therapist looking at your childhood, questions related to your trauma and identifying maladaptive beliefs. In partnership with your therapist, you then develop and agree your bespoke therapy plan.

The next phase – preparation – involves learning ways to deal with anxiety and stress, creating safety plans and building up resources. For example, your therapist may help you to successfully perform mental exercises.

You will then move onto what can be seen as the hard work – actively processing the past. During the assessment, desensitisation, installation and body scan phases, you will be asked to undertake side-to-side eye movements – while simultaneously thinking about one of your targets. After describing how this makes you feel physically and emotionally – along with your mental image of that memory – attention is given to a positive and a negative belief about yourself. The set of eye movements, sounds or taps are then repeated, until the distressing memory becomes less upsetting. This works by helping the brain to process your distressing memories and return to natural information processing.

As EMDR isn’t a talking therapy, while some people choose to, there is no pressure to tell your therapist details of the memory. You may also stop the therapist at any time during a session.

Typically, EMDR sessions are longer than other therapies, lasting 70 minutes. Your initial consultation will be 50 minutes and you may also opt for 50 minute EMDR therapy sessions, should you choose.

At the end of each session, you’ll be encouraged to use the grounding techniques you’ve been taught. Your therapist wants to ensure you leave the session feeling empowered and in control. Once your EMDR therapy is successfully completed, healthy responses should replace your previously disturbing memories and present situations. Utilising this natural process, you will be free to move forward in life with a positive perspective and increased sense of personal strength.

EMDR THERAPY FAQ

Almost anyone – of any age – that has been through a disturbing event or psychological trauma can benefit from EMDR therapy. Moving past trauma-associated symptoms can be extremely hard, especially if a severe trauma such as abuse or series of disturbing events have been experienced. Sometimes, talking therapy simply isn’t enough to help you let go of the past and each day is challenging.

We appreciate that your upbringing, culture or societal norms may be causing skepticism around the possible success of EMDR therapy. At ClearBlues Counselling, people (aged 16 and over) from all socioeconomic backgrounds, gender, sexuality or other attributes are welcomed to explore how this research-based, proven therapy can help them to heal from trauma.

If you are suffering from low self-esteem, anxiety, depression, panic attacks, stress, addiction or any other issue, EMDR can help.

Yes, EMDR therapy is useful in many cases, but there are some contraindications. As each case is different, it is strongly suggested that you discuss this matter with your therapist.

Generally, EMDR therapy is either ineffective or requires extra preparatory work with the following:

• Highly dissociative people, particularly those suffering from Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID)
• Suicidal clients, or those with a history of multiple suicidal attempts
• People suffering from physiologically-based disorders, such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder
• People with neurological impairments
• Clients experiencing psychosis
• People actively abusing drugs or addicted to alcohol
• Individuals with impending legal procedures are advised to seek legal advice prior to  proceeding with EMDR
• Pregnant women.

The complexity of your issue and level of trauma will impact how many sessions will be required to complete EMDR therapy. It is usually short term work, delivered once or twice weekly – sometimes on consecutive days – for six to 12 sessions, preempted by a number of sessions focused on establishing safety and safety-related resources. For those with complex histories and multiple traumas such as childhood abuse, more extensive therapy may be needed.

Studies have shown in the case of civilians, 80% no longer had PTSD after approximately six hours of EMDR therapy. Comparatively, 77% of combat veterans reported EMDR eliminated PTSD after 12 sessions.

There are eight phases of EMDR therapy, with some requiring more – or less – sessions to complete. Your first session is an initial consultation where your therapist will start the first phase of history taking.  You will discuss the components of EMDR therapy in detail and agree how it will be delivered to meet your specific needs. The next session will commence phase two – preparation. This will involve learning various self-control techniques for use in future EMDR sessions to soothe potential disturbance. Your ability to successfully implement these exercises impacts how many additional sessions you will need. As everyone is different with unique circumstances, the amount of preparation needed varies. In most instances, the active processing of memories can begin after one or two sessions.
Yes. ClearBlues Counselling offers clients EMDR therapy online and in a face-to-face setting at our consultation room, based near Newcastle.

Online EMDR therapy is a safe and effective means of accessing a successful, quality and evidence-based approach to healing trauma.

Having grown in popularity since the COVID-19 crisis, much knowledge has been shared among the EMDR therapist community on this way of working. It is widely recognised as being as effective as meeting in person to address PTSD and other trauma-related issues. In fact, some cases have been more successful when provided online.

As with all online therapy approaches delivered online by ClearBlues Counselling, client safety and privacy is paramount. To ensure confidentiality, only secure video connection mediums are used.

To put you at ease, all individuals considering ClearBlues Counselling have an initial consultation with a trained and experienced therapist. Before deciding whether to pursue further sessions, you’ll meet to discuss how EMDR therapy works and how it can help you.  This also provides the opportunity to see if the therapist is the right match for you to establish a connection. Our practice and ethos is client-driven and understands that some people may take a few sessions to feel a connection. Your counsellor will put your needs first to ensure you always feel safe, deeply understood and fully supported.

A strong therapeutic relationship is crucial to the success of your sessions at ClearBlues Counselling. As an objective, curious and current therapist, I’m highly engaged in professional growth and encourage clients to provide regular feedback. During our time together, I am committed to making sure all clients feel they can be open and honest about our sessions.

For more information about my professional background and approach, please visit the About Me page.

EMDR is a powerful therapy designed to help the brain to resolve unprocessed traumatic memories by resuming its natural healing process. The main differences between EMDR and other therapeutic approaches include:

• EMDR counselling sessions do not require talking in detail about the distressing issue
• There is no requirement for completing homework between EMDR sessions
• EMDR therapy focuses on processing deep body and sensory feelings. Similar to other therapies, EMDR focuses on emotions and thoughts, the key difference being that it is not the aim to change them, alongside associated behaviours resulting from trauma
• Individuals can often complete EMDR in fewer sessions than traditional psychotherapies.

Recommended by NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence), among others, EMDR is a highly successful, research based psychological therapy for healing trauma. Reducing the intensity of painful memories and disturbing experiences, EMDR is effective in both children and adults. Examples of the specific issues EMDR can help with include:

• Accidents: road traffic, workplace
• Addiction
• Anxiety
• Assault
• Body dysmorphic issues
• Childhood abuse and / or neglect
• Chronic pain
• Conflict trauma
• Depression
• Dissociative disorders
• Disturbing memories
• Domestic violence and abuse
• Grief and loss
• Natural disasters
• OCD
• Panic attacks
• Personality disorders
• Phobias
• PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)
• Relationship break ups
• Stress
• Violence and abuse
• War trauma.

For more details on specific areas I can help with, please visit the About Me page. If you’re still unsure if your problem can benefit from EMDR therapy, do get in touch with ClearBlues Counselling by phone or email for advice.

Fees for EMDR therapy:

▪ Your initial consultation is half the price of an EMDR therapy session
▪ The initial consultation is £30, lasting 50 minutes
▪ An EMDR therapy session lasting 50 minutes is £60
▪ An EMDR therapy session lasting 70 minutes £80.

Concessions for students and OAPs (proof required):

▪ Your initial consultation is half the price of an EMDR therapy session
▪ The initial consultation is £25, lasting 50 minutes
▪ An EMDR therapy session lasting 50 minutes is £50
▪ An EMDR therapy session lasting 70 minutes £70.