bernice sorensen : emdr

Listening Cures | Bernice Sorensen | Why Therapy?

What is EMDR therapy?
EMDR is an acronym for 'Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing'. EMDR is a powerful psychological treatment method that was developed by an American clinical psychologist, Dr Francine Shapiro, in the 1980s. As a Senior Research Fellow at the Mental Research Institute, she published the first research data to support the benefits of the therapy in the 1989.

Since then a wealth of research has been conducted demonstrating its benefits in treating psychological trauma arising from experiences as diverse as war related experiences, childhood sexual and/or physical abuse or neglect, natural disaster, assault, surgical trauma, road traffic accidents and workplace accidents. Since its original development, EMDR is also increasingly used to help individuals with other issues and performance anxiety. EMDR has been found to be of benefit to children as well as adults.

How Does it Work?

When a traumatic event happens, strong emotions can interfere with our ability to completely process the experience and this moment can become frozen in time. Recalling the traumatic event may feel as though the person is reliving the event all over again because the images, smells, sounds, and feelings are still there and can be triggered in the present. When activated, these memories cause a negative impact on our daily functioning and interfere with the way we see ourselves, our world and how we relate to others. EMDR therapy appears to directly effect the brain, allowing the individual to resume normal functioning while no longer reliving the images, sounds, and feelings associated with the trauma. The memory is still there, but it is less upsetting.

What happens in a session?

An EMDR therapist helps people to overcome the trauma by linking what was seen, felt, heard and believed at the time of the trauma with a unique, additional element: a pattern of rapid directional eye movements. This is done by the therapist, moving one or two fingers back and forth in front of the client’s eyes at a distance of 12” or more. The client is gently guided to just notice what comes up without going into detail. What is unique about EMDR is how rapidly new beliefs about the self and interpretations of the trauma replace old beliefs. New possibilities emerge that were never before considered. These new insights are used as the starting point for the next set of eye movements, continually helping you to process the trauma in healthier, more manageable ways.

The therapist follows a protocol that involves 8 steps:
1. History and introduction to the EMDR process
2. Teaching of some self-care techniques
3. Clarification of the visual scene you will work on, a negative belief and the preferred positive belief
4. Introduction of the rapid eye movement sequence including:-
5. Reprocessing, desensitization and installation
6. Focus on physical signs - the body scan
7. Closure
8. Re-evaluation of original problem

EMDR often leads people to feel better very quickly, but it is important to experience the entire 8-phase process with a qualified EMDR therapist to ensure the most beneficial results. Bernice trained with Sandi Richman in London in 2010. Alexandra (Sandi) Richman is an Accredited Trainer and Accredited Consultant in EMDR. Her trainings are fully approved by EMDR International Association (EMDRIA) and EMDR-Europe Association (EMDR-E).

Is EMDR right for you?

If you would like to have an initial session to discuss whether EMDR would be a suitable therapeutic approach for you, please either call or email Bernice, who will invite you to come and talk about what would most benefit your particular situation.

Bernice Sorensen, Spindleberry, North Road, Chideock, Bridport, Dorset, DT6 6LE 01297 489216


Bookmark and Share