Nicky StokesTrauma Therapy, Counselling & EMDR in Sandbach, Cheshire

Eye Movement, Desinsitisation & Reprocessing

What is EMDR?


“The past affects the present even without our being aware of it.” Francine Shapiro



Eye Movement, Desensitisation and Reprocessing is a therapy that is approved by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) for the treatment of trauma and PTSD. The therapy is based on the Adaptive Information Processing model and is a 3 pronged approach which is centred on the past, present and future. Essentially this means that past trauma affects the present and prevents us from doing certain things in the future, usually due to fear, anxiety and avoidance. The model comprises of three principals which make up the core of the Eye Movement, Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) approach to psychotherapy (Shapiro, 1995, 2001).

Principle 1 – we all have an intrinsic information processing system which has evolved in order for us to reorganise our responses to disturbing life events. In functional adults this happens in response to disturbing events in an adaptive process allowing them to learn, work though and understand the experience and resolve the experience naturally. This is usually done through talking, writing, reflecting on the situation, allowing the person to develop a cognitive perspective about the event which is adaptive.

Principal 2 - In cases of persistent trauma or stress during a developmental stage, this can cause this system to break down leaving the person with a persistent trauma which is unresolved.

Principal 3 - EMDR restores balance allowing the person to experience rapid self-healing through the use of the EMDR protocol and bilateral eye movements.

“Trauma memories are stored differently to other memories, meaning that the original images, sounds, thoughts and feelings get locked into our central nervous system and this distressing material keeps getting triggered over and over, preventing learning or healing from taking place. You already have most of the information to solve this problem in another part of the brain, but the two cannot connect. Once EMDR starts, a linking takes place and new information can come to mind resolving the old problems.” Francine Shapiro

I have worked with a wide range of presenting issues and have successfully treated the following using EMDR:

• Road Traffic Accidents

• Dental Phobia

• Flying Phobia

• Vaginismus

• Erectile Dysfunction

• Tinnitus

• PTSD

• Complex PTSD

• Childhood Sexual Abuse

• Childhood Neglect

• Rape & Sexual Assault

• Sex Addiction

• Pornography Addiction

• Domestic Violence

• Recent Traumatic Events

• Work Related Stress

• Bullying

• Body Dysmorphia

• Eating Disorders

• Alcohol and Drug Addiction

• Anxiety Disorders

• Depression

• Health Related Anxiety

• Fibromyalgia

• Gender Dysphoria

• Complex or Delayed Grief

• Fear of Intimacy


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