EMDR Summary

Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) helps with incident that have happened in the past, that hey may have not fully processed, integrated or address so they continue to have a negative impact on a person's life. THE EMDR process begins by gathering information and working to reprocess the significant events, together with the current cues that are still capable of stimulating distressing thoughts, feelings or behavioral impulses. Then, finally, they will rehearse coping strategies for future situations and address any remaining anticipatory anxiety and rehearse new skills. You will be asked about the incident to consider different aspects of it, whilst following your eyes to our fingers. We process the memory of the worst image of the traumatic event Subjective Units of Disturbance to take it from the highest intensity (10) to the lowest intensity (1 or 0).


EMDR's purpose is to reconsolidate and reprocess memories. According to research, EMDR treatment actually changes the brain. The hippocampus (memory control center) shrinks with people with PTSD, yet 8-12 sessions of EMDR memory processing for people with PTSD was associated with a 6% increase in volume, maintained 1 year later.
EMDR is thought to help work with that dissociated material, enabling it to be processed in a manner that enable it to be appropriately integrated. There are several theories as to how EMDR helps to achieve this.

  • EMDR can be considered to be an information processing method.
  • The eye movements may connect to the learning and memory storage processes that occur during REM stages of sleep.
  • The stimuli (eye movements/taps/clicks) may promote better communication between the two hemispheres of the brain enabling the dissociated material to be accessed and processed.
  • The dual focus of attention on the rhythmical stimuli and the specific memory of the trauma (referred to as the target) may trigger the processing mechanisms.


Throughout this manual reference will be made to BLS representing "bilateral stimulation". This will generally refer to the use of the client's dual attention focus on eye movements and the material being worked upon. However, if the client is the contra-indicated for eye movements (or you choose an alternative stimulation method deliberately) then this can also refer to the use of ta[s, tones, sounds or clicks.