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Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing

What is Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR)?

Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is a therapeutic approach guided by the Adaptive Information Processing (AIP) model. The basis behind EMDR therapy is bilateral stimulation using visual, auditory or kinaesthetic stimuli that tracks from left to right and back again, either vertically or diagonally. This is thought to emulate the psychological state that we enter into when in rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. Studies show that when in REM sleep we are able to make new associations between things very rapidly and it is thought that EMDR may be tapping into this high speed processing mode that we all have, but normally can’t access. EMDR can help you to process the painful memories so they are less in your awareness, and put the most useful memories more in your awareness. The process is described below.

What can EMDR be used for?

altThe heart of EMDR involves the transmutation of dysfunctionally stored experiences which can cause Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD), such as those that war veterans experience, or after a traumatic experience, violent abuse, child abuse, sexual assault, car crash, anxiety or anything that involves traumatic memories and other psychological problems. In adults, such events often lead to symptoms such as nightmares, panic attacks, phobias, insomnia, alcohol abuse, drug abuse and much more. In children, symptoms such as oppositional behaviour sleep disturbances and bed wetting.

  • Sexual assaults
  • Other violent crimes
  • Combat
  • Airline and train crashes
  • Car Crash
  • Industrial accidents
  • Child abuse
  • Domestic abuse
  • Reoccurring Nightmares
  • Anxiety
  • Becoming a non-smoker
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Drug abuse
  • Negative eating patterns
  • Disturbed sleep patterns

altEMDR is an effective therapy for to treat habitual behaviours and can remove the desire to smoke by removing cravings. The Government Watchdog the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) acknowledges EMDR is an effective treatment to help you become a non-smoker. It is a quick and effective method to rid yourself of the smoking habit and address cravings so you can get on with enjoying your life and experience the financial benefits as well as the health benefits of kicking the smoking habit. The fact is smoking just one packet of cigarettes a day cost you on average £150 a month, it can make you less attractive affecting your completion, hair, teeth and body odour. Research shows that one in five 18-35 year old believe that non-smokers make better lovers so now maybe a good time to think about quitting. Smoking also impacts greatly your health, four in every five deaths attributed to lung cancer are smoke related, ten out of every hundred deaths from stokes are associated with smoking. There are so many other health risks too, so EMDR offers you a very quick and easy solution.

altEMDR can also remove the desire towards a particular food that has a negative impact on health. Levels of obesity are rapidly increasing in the UK as are weight related illnesses.  Eating an array of healthy, nationally satisfying food to meet the physical demands of the body is an effective weight management strategy and promotes good health. EMDR can help you curb the desire for those high carbohydrate and high fat foods that you crave for, you will discover how truly easy it is to give them up.  Even if you wish to keep eating a particular food you can, but EMDR can help you reduce the frequency and help put you back in control of your eating and drinking patterns.

You can also curb Alcohol consumption, a lot of people get enjoyment out of drinking and in small amounts it can be beneficial, but if you drink more than three drinks in one session on a regular basis, Government statistics show you are classed “at risk” and you are considered a “binge drinker”. Visit the NHS website where you can download a tracker to establish the effects on your health, it’s an eye opener.

EMDR can have great benefits to addictions and curb cravings not limited to what is outlined above, this information is not exhaustive it just gives you the basis. It is fair to say that EMDR is very versatile offering you a range of alternative to resolve many issues.

What steps does the EMDR therapy consist of?

Step 1. The therapist will take a detailed personal history to establish triggers, drivers or underlying psychological issues that may be responsible for whatever is overwhelming you. You will be asked to complete a questionnaire and sign a commitment contract. The therapist will go through some other techniques to establish any under lying causes for your present state.

Step 2. The therapist will go through the process of EMDR so you fully understand what will happen; they will discuss the possibility of how changes may affect you and give you relaxation therapy before, through or after the session.  You will be asked to either associate or dissociate with the problem state and offer an alternative acceptable outcome of how you would like to feel, or achieve.

Step 3. You will be asked to rate the scale of intensity of feeling associate with the problem state

Step 4. The desensitisation process will proceed with sequences and sets of movements, you will be asked to follow instructions, and the therapist will continue until the problem state has reduced or gone. This duration and repetition of the process varies between individuals, it maybe the therapist will consider other advanced treatments for your benefit.

Step 5. Cognitive Restructuring will be used strengthen the positive beliefs and replace the negative belief associated with the traumatic memory or craving. You will be asked to concentrate on the positive belief during the eye movement sets. This will continue until you reach a specific rate on the scale that the therapist is using. When evoking the traumatic memory or craving, this should help you believe the positive thought about yourself and help you achieve your goal.

Step 6. You will be asked to test the effectiveness of the treatment using future pacing techniques and asked to rate the feelings towards that particular memory or craving, this determines if further therapy is required.

The session is then brought to an end; the therapist will discuss future treatments if required and give you after care instructions.  You will be asked to give feedback so the therapist can plan towards working with your unique requirements.

Is EMDR effective?

Yes, research concluded that EMDR was more effective than usual care or no care based on six studies and offers similar benefits to cognitive-behavioural therapy or stress management. NICE also concluded that EMDR is effective for becoming a non-smoker. It is a quick and effective treatment that can benefit you.

Our Therapists and Practitioners

Our Therapists and Practitioners

Affronté therapists and practitioners are qualified, skilled and experienced in many areas, including Hypnotherapy and NLP. Please click on the thumbnail images below to view our

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Resources and Free Downloads

Resources and Free Downloads

  Welcome to the resources section. Here you will find a wide range of well-being resources and free downloads.   Audio Downloads To download, right click on the file name and choose  



After suffering with depression for years, during which I was given counselling and antidepressants, personally it was clear that none of these worked for me. A friend recommended

About Us

About Us

We are located in Leicestershire and Derbyshire, Affonté offer a wide range of therapies that can help resolve any issue that may be affecting your life,…

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A few challenges our therapies can treat. Click on your area of interest for more details: Pain Relief: Overcome debilitating physical pain and migraines. Smoking Addiction: Rid ...



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