The first step is to book an Assessment session to identify your current problems and assess whether EMDR is a suitable therapy for you. If you decide to go ahead, a few sessions (usually between 2 and 4) will be spent on history-taking and preparation before any disturbing memories are processed, and a treatment plan will be formulated.
Once you are sufficiently resourced and prepared, you will be able to start working on the disturbing memories. You will be asked to recall the target memory and to move your eyes from right to left, following the therapist’s fingers (sometimes a lightbar or other device may be used). The eye movements will last for a short while and then stop. You will then be asked to report back on what you are experiencing now, with regard to changes in thoughts, images, feelings or body sensations.
With repeated sets of eye movements, the memory tends to change in such a way that it loses its painful intensity and becomes a neutral memory of an event in the past. Other associated memories may also heal at the same time. This linking of related memories can lead to a dramatic and rapid improvement in many aspects of your life.
If you find eye movements difficult or impossible, other forms of bilateral stimulation can be used, such as auditory beeps or tapping on the hands.
EMDR is a complete therapy, addressing not only the past event(s), but also present triggers and future concerns.