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What is EMDR? 

EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing.


It is a therapy, quite different to typical talking therapies, which takes the heat out of distressing memories of traumatic experiences. You will continue to recall the memory, but you will not feel the level of emotional upset you did before.  

EMDR is an innovative clinical treatment which has successfully helped over a million individuals. The validity and reliability of EMDR has been established by rigorous research.


Who approves of EMDR?

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing) is approved by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) and the World Health Organisation  (WHO)for the treatment of traumatic or distressing memories. 


It is not hypnosis

Most people find it a very empowering therapy, as you remain in control and fully alert.   It is not a form of hypnosis. 

How does it work?

The mind can often heal itself naturally, in the same way as the body does.  Much of this natural coping mechanism occurs during sleep, particularly during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. 


Francine Shapiro developed Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) in 1987, utilising this natural process in order to successfully treat Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  Since then, EMDR has been used to effectively treat a wide range of mental health problems.  

Do I have to describe my memory / experience in detail?

No, for EMDR to be successful, it is not necessary for you to say anything you don’t want to. So, if you would prefer not to talk about the detail of the event that you remember, then there is no need to.  

Catherine Mulcaster is an experienced  counsellor and coach in Sharnbrook and Northampton

What is an EMDR session like? 

EMDR utilises the natural healing ability of your body. After a thorough assessment, you will be asked specific questions about a particular disturbing memory.


Eye movements, similar to those during REM sleep, will be recreated simply by asking you to watch the therapist's finger moving backwards and forwards across your visual field. 

To find out more:

EMDR Association UK's website:

NICE - the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence:

The Counselling Directory:

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