EMDR Trauma Therapy
Healthworks Practitioner: Marja Helkala
Tel: 01309 671532
Mob: 07706 359397
What is EMDR?
EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) was developed by Dr. Francine Shapiro in 1980s.
The primary aim of EMDR is to reprocess experiences of past trauma and to enable the individual to function well in the present again.
Traumatic memories are located in the brain, and the brain is part of the body and can heal in the same way as any other part of the body.
Trauma causes imbalance in the nervous system and thus creates blocks or incomplete information processing. Unprocessed trauma is stored separately in unconnected memory networks together with negative thoughts and beliefs about oneself.
Identifying and reprocessing significant unprocessed events is central to EMDR treatment. EMDR seems to allow the memory networks to link, causing spontaneous insight and change. When upsetting memories are processed, the related feelings, beliefs, body responses and thoughts are transformed.
What is Trauma?
Two different kind of traumas can be distinguished, i.e. what can be called a) big “T” trauma which psychology recognises as a cause of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), e.g. abuse, combat stress, etc. and b) what can be referred to as small “t” trauma which occurs as a result of upsetting daily life experiences.
Symptoms of PTSD can include reliving the original event through intrusive symptoms like flashbacks, nightmares, panic attacks, and obsessive thoughts or avoidance symptoms such as social isolation, emotional numbing and substance misuse. Small “t” traumas can result in some of the same feelings as big “T” traumas and can also have far-reaching consequences for the individual.
For the purposes of EMDR work trauma could be defined as any event that has had a long term negative effect on the person’s functioning in every day life.
Who Can Benefit from EMDR?
In addition to the above described trauma EMDR has also been successfully used for e.g. stress, burn out, phobias, panic attacks, depression and anxiety, addictions and prolonged grief .
Any psychological and emotional ‘blocks’ can be tackled with EMDR.
What Happens in a Session?
Although talking is naturally part of the therapy, rather than talking through the problem, the processing occurs on a physiological level. This is done by using bilateral stimulation, i.e. rapid eye movements, tapping or sounds to access memory networks and cellular memory which allows new associations, insights and emotions to emerge spontaneously.
During the session the practitioner and the client are sat down facing each other and the practitioner uses specific techniques by moving her fingers in front of the clients eyes (or uses tapping or sounds when more appropriate) to target the memories and/or issues the person wants to work on.
The client’s task is to observe changes in his/her inner feelings and thoughts. EMDR is a very client centred approach in that the client’s inner experience and processing inform the therapy session rather than the practitioner giving feedback, reflecting on or interpreting experiences.
The therapy sessions are confidential and a lot of care will be taken to assist the person to feel comfortable about the method and processing.
EMDR therapy sessions usually initially take place weekly (can sometimes take place twice a week if needed), with sessions lasting an hour and a half. Later on sessions can also take place at longer intervals. A suitable rhythm for the treatment will be negotiated.
Usually a few sessions are required to work through a traumatic event/memory.
Healthworks Practitioner: Marja Helkala
My background is in Counselling and I have also long experience in working as an addictions counsellor (since 1991).
My commitment is to help people to work through psychological, emotional and spiritual ‘blocks’ to be able to live their lives as who they truly are with joy and well being.
I have a Master's Degree in Counselling (1998) and I am a member of the Independent Professional Therapists International (IPTI)): www.iptiuk.com
For further information or to make an appointment, please contact Marja as above.