Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR)

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing is a psychotherapy technique used to treat trauma, anxiety, and other emotional issues.

The main goal of EMDR is to help individuals process traumatic memories that have been stored in the brain in an unhelpful way and is causing the child and young person to continue to respond in the present determined by their past traumatic experiences. 

The therapy involves recalling the traumatic memory while focusing on a back-and-forth movement of the eyes or other forms of bilateral stimulation, such as tapping or sounds. The therapist guides the child or young person through a series of eye movements while the child or young person is instructed to focus on the traumatic memory. This helps to reduce the emotional distress associated with the memory and allows the individual to process the experience in a more adaptive way. EMDR can also work with children and young people by not directly addressing the trauma but only working on developing the child and young person to develop ‘safe’ resources – calming the over reactive, hyper-aroused state of alarm.

EMDR is based on the idea that traumatic experiences can become "stuck" in the brain and interfere with a person's ability to function in everyday life. By processing these memories in a structured and safe environment, EMDR can help individuals heal from the emotional wounds of trauma.


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