Cost: £75 per 1 hour session and £110 per 1.5 hour session.
With EMDR therapy, it is typical that the first few sessions could reasonably be 60 minutes in length. Once the use of the bilateral stimulation begins to facilitate processing, sessions of 90 minutes are recommended. This to enable time for adequate assessment of the target to be take place, enough time to facilitate some processing, and then time to ensure you are ready to leave the session safely afterwards.)
EMDR is not simply the use of eye movements. Rather it is a comprehensive therapeutic approach with principles, protocols and procedures with the goal of reducing distress in the shortest period of time.
I will spend time getting to know your history, including the kind of distress you are experiencing, the kind of difficulties have you experienced, if you have physical problems, if you are taking medication and explore the support you have. I will then discuss with you if I feel EMDR is suited for your difficulty and you can raise any questions about the process.
I will then spend some time doing some relaxation exercises with you, which could include ‘safe or pleasant place’ exercises, guided visualisation, deep muscle relaxation, breathing retraining etc. Once you and I feel that you are sufficiently prepared, you can then target a distressing memory with the eye movements or other forms of left-right alternating stimulation, such as sound or taps. I will ask you to select an image that represents the distressing event. You will then be asked to think about negative and positive thoughts, your feelings, the amount of distress you feel and where you feel it in your body.
I will then begin the eye movements while you hold the image in mind. After each set of eye movements I will ask you what you notice. During the eye movements you may experience the distressing event quite intensely to start with, but this distress reduces as the memory is processed with EMDR.
I will continue with the eye movements until your distress is reduced as much as possible. I will then ask you to think about your positive thought and also check whether there is any part of your body where you still feel distress. Before the end of the session, I will give you time to feel calm again, using the safe-pleasant place exercise or relaxation techniques.
EMDR treatment generates a certain amount of ‘momentum’ to your thinking and conscious awareness. In other words the treatment does not just stop immediately after your session. During your eye movement session a lot of memories may come to mind and people find that after the session they may think about these memories.
If these memories are distressing, then for a day or two you may still feel distressed. During this time it is recommended that you take care of yourself and use your relaxation techniques to soothe yourself. This is why I will spend time making sure you have techniques that you can use, before the processing of the memories begins. Some report that they dream more. Everybody is different so keep a note of your experience after the session and discuss this with me the next time we meet. As the distress decreases with EMDR, people report feeling a sense of relief. At the end of EMDR therapy, many people report feeling no distress at all when recalling the distressing event.
EMDR is not a form of hypnotism. Even though you are moving your eyes during EMDR you will remain conscious AND in control at all times. EMDR cannot be done against your will.
EMDR featured on BBC Radio 4s programme IPM recently. The programme told the story of a woman revisiting intense experiences of being bullied very early in life, with event at just age four. Listen to here story here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p04jyv3y (Until around 14 minutes she is describing her experiences prior to treatment and the specific discussion about EMDR occurs around 18 minutes in).