EMDR can be a powerful tool to help with Anxiety and Addictions

I often use a technique called EMDR with clients. EMDR stands for the less than succinct "Eye Movement Desensitiation and Reprocessing".

EMDR is a therapeutic technique that was originally found to be useful for alleviating the symptoms of PTSD. Since then therapists across the world have discovered it can also be effective in helping with a wide range of symptoms including Anxiety, Pain, Phobias and Addictions.

Although the phrase is a bit of a mouthful, EMDR does do what it says on the tin – once you manage to decode just what the words on the tin mean that is.

D is for Desensitisation

The Desensitisation part means that using EMDR we become less triggered, less sensitive to whatever is bothering us. That might be reliving bad events, or the urges that come with an addiction or in the case of chronic pain how bad the pain feels.

R is for Reprocessing

The Reprocessing part is about allowing the mind to re-process events, memories or associations in a way it hasn’t had the opportunity to do before. The curious thing is we don’t need to be able to consciously remember the events that led to our current feelings. Sometimes they are there in front of our eyes, other times we are only left with the feelings they created.

These feelings give us a way in to the memory networks where the processing needs to take place.

EM is for Eye Movements

And the The eye movements is the way we do the Desensitisation and Reprocessing.

In simple terms it involves the therapist asking the client to follow the therapist’s fingers as they move them from left to right, a process called bilateral stimulation. These left-right eye movements, done at the right speed and for the right number of repetitions, is what stimulates the Reprocessing and Desensitisation.

Simple but effective

I've used this simple but effective EMDR process to help clients with PTSD, Anxiety, Chronic Pain and Addictions. It's one of the most powerful therapeutic methods I use.