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Eye Movement Desensitisation and Rationalisation

Thousand of people are affected by trauma every year. This can be the result of rape, car accidents, abuse in all its forms or exposure to traumatic events through service ie armed forces or emergency services. I have, and continue to supported my clients with trauma / Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms with Trauma Focused Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (TFCBT) and various forms of relaxation and mindfulness techniques. I found this combination of treatments to be affective, and in terms of length of treatment, to be variable from 5-12 sessions or longer depending on the complexity of the case. The treatment and success really depends on the clients ability to self soothe during re exposure to the events. Each clients ability to self soothe has an impact on the tolerance to the treatment and indeed the success of the intervention.

I decided I needed another therapeutic tool to support clients who have trauma symptoms. To possible support clients who found self soothing difficult. I decided to look at the research and the various models that had positive research results. I had previously worked with armed forces veterans who had been exposed to Eye Movement Desensitisation and Rationalisation (EMDR) in relation to PTSD difficulties.

I decided to apply and enrol on a course offered by EMDR works in Edinburgh. This course was run over 4 parts. The student would be a qualified EMDR therapist after part 4. The course contained theory and practice. Further training and experience would lead to accreditation and if committed, eventual recognition as a consultant.

Part one and two of the course brought together experienced professionals from across the UK and beyond with varying professional backgrounds ie psychiatry, psychology, nursing and counselling, NHS, private, charity and third social enterprise.

EMDR works on the principle that like the body the mind tries to return to a normal state (haemostasis) when it has been traumatised. EMDR works with this principle to help traumatised clients to recover. When we are traumatised and relive the experience, our brain plays back the experience – the event can be replayed with sound, images, smell taste and touch, all of the five senses can be engaged. The theory is that these memories become fragmented and it is this fragmenting that causes the difficult symptoms. The important parts of the brain that process, organise and plan etc becomes unable to process the trauma and resolve it rationally because of the overwhelming emotions. The rapid eye movements in EMDR allow the brain to reengage the processing part of the brain with the emotion to allow the client to process and resolve the event. It also has a calming affect that speeds up and lessens the time the client has to deal with the powerful emotions.Clients use their own internal resources to make positive changes
with the support of the process.

After completing all four parts of the course I have found the therapy to be very affective for my clients. I have also used the therapy on clients with distress and anxiety conditions relating to  relationship difficulties and the coming to terms of breakups, betrayal etc and other anxiety conditions.

EMDR is a promising addition to my skill set to allow effective recovery for my clients.

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