Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) is an evidence based approach recommended by the WHO (2013) for healing complex PTSD.

There is also emerging evidence for using EMDR in OCD and “stuck” flashbacks or memories.  (Lee and Schubert, 2018). Though the mechanism for how it works is still unexplained, the idea is that the client’s nervous system is helped to get “unstuck” with help from the therapist. It can be a brief process or may take more sessions depending on the person’s presenting problem, but target issues are identified and worked through systematically, one at a time. The best part is that it is not necessary to talk about the trauma in detail or do “homework”.

If EMDR works it will reduce the emotional “charge” around old memories to make them less painful or triggering. The work can be a bit unsettling sometimes and careful preparation and setup is needed. Some people start by downloading the EMDR App called Anxiety Release, which can help you to get a sense of EMDR work, however it is important to find an experienced practitioner to help you if you have a complex past including attachment issues, neglect or dissociation.

There is an Australian organisation to accredit practitioners. You can find an accredited EMDR practitioner at this link.

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