Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
What is EMDR Therapy?
EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing) therapy is a powerful psychological treatment that has been extensively researched and proven to be effective in the treatment of trauma, as well as many other psychological conditions.
The therapy works on the primary basis that traumatic memories remain trapped and ‘frozen in time’, unable to be resolved through the mind’s usual pathway for processing life events – REM sleep. EMDR therapy aims to induce the eye movements experienced during REM sleep. While the patient deliberately recalls a traumatic memory, eye movements are added. This is believed to mimic the natural memory processing characteristics of REM sleep, thus facilitating the brain to successfully process the memory. Once these traumatic memories or significant life events have been desensitized and reprocessed, they no longer have the same negative impact on the individual. The event can be recalled, but it is no longer upsetting.
Ego State Therapy & EMDR Therapy
When a person has suffered traumatic events, in an effort to both deal with the trauma and get on with life, the personality can become fractured. These fractured parts of the personality can become separate ‘ego states’, with each having its own set of coping strategy, purpose, beliefs, needs, and even, age.
Much of the dysfunction occurring in a person’s present life may be attributed to the disharmony between the ego states, as they compete to each have their own, often conflicting, needs met. One of the main aims of Ego State Therapy, which is often used in conjunction with EMDR, is to bring cohesion, cooperation, and harmony to the internal ego-state system.
The process of EMDR
- Identification and mapping of significant life events and traumatic experiences
- Personalized development of resources, coping strategies, and grounding techniques
- Exploration of different aspects of your personality through Ego State Therapy
- Processing of traumatic memories using bilateral stimulation (typically induced by eye movements)
EMDR at Pine Rivers Private Hospital
EMDR Therapy is used in the treatment of Post- Traumatic Stress Disorder or Complex Trauma. EMDR occurs alongside the hospitals group therapy program, with EMDR admissions typically spanning 4 weeks. During your stay, you will be scheduled to see your Psychologist twice weekly. Each therapy sessions is approximately 90 minutes in duration.
Most patients require multiple EMDR admissions, which are spread throughout the year. As each individual has differing needs, the number of EMDR admissions required is variable. Treatment planning is an ongoing process and will occur in collaboration with each patient.
The evidence that supports EMDR
EMDR is a widely researched and supported therapy for the treatment of trauma.
EMDR Therapy is endorsed by:
- The World Health Organization (2013)
- The Australian Psychological Society (2010)
- The International Society for Traumatic Stress
- Studies (2009)
- American Psychiatric Association (2004)
Patients, healthcare professionals and carers
The long term goal of EMDR therapy is to bring psychological peace to a person. However, being a very powerful psychological technique, EMDR can bring about some uncomfortable experiences during the process of therapy. It is important that the person undergoing EMDR therapy, and those around them, are aware of these, so appropriate support and understanding can be given. Some
of these experiences may include:
- Vivid dreams
- Tiredness / fatigue
- Increased anxiety
- Preoccupation with trauma material
At Pine Rivers Private Hospital, clinical staff are available at all times to enabling a supportive and therapeutic environment.