Grey Matters Centre


What is EMDR
EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing) is a powerful psychological treatment that was developed by a clinical psychologist Dr Francine Shiparo.

EMDR is used in treating psychological trauma from experiences such as:

  • Childhood sexual/physical or neglect
  • Natural disasters
  • Road traffic accidents
  • Assault
  • Rape/sexual violence
  • Domestic abuse 
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Attachment issues
  • Chronic pain
  • Phobias
  • O.C.D
  • Depression
  • Disordered eating
  • Natural disasters
  • Combat/war 

Trauma and the brain
When we suffer trauma it usually results in strong emotions which overwhelm our brain. This overwhelm stops our brain processing normally so it leaves the memory unprocessed.

Normally an experience would go through a part of our brain called the hippocampus. This part of the brain processes the experience so it can be filed away as a memory. If this doesn’t happen the experience gets stuck in the nervous system.

The stuck memory can get triggered and is experienced as if it is happening in the present, with all the thoughts, emotions and body sensations that go with it. This accounts for: flashbacks, intrusive thoughts and nightmares that are a common theme of PTSD.

What does EMDR do?
EMDR helps to reprocess and heals traumatic memories by imitating what the brain does naturally In Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep.  It enables the desensitization of the emotional content to the memory so that you can remember the incident without bringing the emotional impact along with it. It does this by recalling the target memory whilst using bilateral stimulation or tapping.  EMDR can accelerate the healing process and the effects are long lasting.

After the sessions you may find you are very emotional or exhausted. In the following days you may feel, dizzy sad, depressed or have nightmares. This is perfectly normal and it means your brain is still processing memories. Planning for your treatment may include knowing you have these reactions as  you can then go ahead and find the most suitable time for EMDR.

Length of the sessions
Before the eye movements part of EMDR can begin we work work our way through 8 stages which includes building resources within yourself, as we need you to be able to emotionally regulate whilst we do the trauma work. 

The eight stages of EMDR are:

  • History taking and treatment planning
  •  Preparation
  • Assessment
  • Desensitization
  •  Installation
  • Body scan
  • Closure
  • Re-evaluation

These sessions are the normal therapy length, although whilst the tapping or eye movements take place it may be preferable to be longer, perhaps  90 minutes or 120 minutes long.

The amount of sessions needed is dependant upon the complexity of your problems. With complex trauma EMDR may take multiple sessions which could be held over considerable months. Frequently EMDR is only used as part of your overall therapy journey.

Our privilege
It is our mission and our privilege to support you on your journey to recovery and to reach your goals. We are confident that together we can make a difference to your world and help you to live your life the way you want to live it. Imagine what your life would be like after therapy and the difference it would make to you. 

We help hundreds of people every year to be the best they can be. Please don’t suffer unnecessarily any longer. Get in touch with us today and take the first step to make great things happen!

Telephone 07907613600

EMDR is recommended for the treatment of PTSD in 16 national and international guidelines including the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE), the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS).

Eye Movement and Desensitisation Reprocessing