Some of our therapists in the North Lincs IAPT are qualified to deliver eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy. This treatment is used to help people who experience symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and is as effective as CBT according to the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) who provide independent, evidence-based guidance for the NHS.
Sometimes when we experience a traumatic event we start to feel overloaded and this can result in memories of the event not being processed in the usual way, which can leave us with difficult emotions or thoughts to manage. Often when we are in similar situations to the traumatic event, memories can be triggered and we may re-experience similar levels of distress.
With the support of your therapist, EMDR treatment will help you to safely focus on the difficult images, thoughts, emotions and bodily sensations of the distressing memory whilst activating the left and right side of the brain.
EMDR involves the therapist asking specific questions about the trauma and then stimulating eye movements similar to what we experience during REM sleep, using finger movements or light bars. The distressing memory will then gradually lose its intensity to become a memory which does not trigger overwhelming emotions or thoughts.
North Lincs IAPT EMDR sessions are sometimes slightly longer than typical therapy sessions (up to 90 minutes). The number of sessions needed, will depend on the specific person and an agreed length of treatment will be planned, often around 12 sessions.