EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a form of psychotherapy that is able to access and process traumatic memories and adverse life experiences so that they no longer need to affect you on a day-to-day basis. It enables these memories and experiences to reside in the past, where they belong, as opposed to you having to constantly re-experience them in the present.
What happens in an EMDR session?
The session will focus on a specific, traumatic event and following a structured list of questions about the event and how the client feels about it in the present, the client will then be asked to follow a sequence of bilateral eye movements, all guided by the therapist. It is through this bilateral stimulation that the information from the traumatic memory is processed and filed appropriately in the brain. It means that though the traumatic event of course still happened, it is recognised as being something that happened in the past, and no longer is something that is felt in an ongoing traumatic way, in the present.
How many sessions will I need?
EMDR has a reputation of working faster than other talking therapies but an extensive history of the client still needs to be taken and the work needs to be done in a safe and contained manner so it is not possible to give exact numbers of sessions. Expectations should understand that there will be at least 6 sessions and in many cases, a lot more, depending on the complexity of the trauma.