EMDR in the treatment of trauma

EMDR in the treatment of trauma

Alex Corcoran is a female Clinical Psychologist with Moving Forward Clinical Psychologists on the beautiful NSW Central Coast.

Alex is passionate about helping people recover from trauma and utilises a range of evidence-based therapies. One of these modalities is EMDR.

Alex provides therapy for trauma (both relational and other forms of trauma), whether stemming from a single incident, or prolonged or cumulative exposure to distressing events.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) has emerged as a very effective treatment for some people with trauma symptoms. Some of the common symptoms of trauma include:

Hypervigilance

Mistrust

Anxiety

Panic Attacks

Chronic Pain

Headaches

Muscle aches

Substance abuse

Eating disorders

Feeling things are unreal or out of body

Self-destructive behaviours

Loss of sense of ‘who I am’

Depression

Irritability

Concentration difficulties

Numbing

Loss of interest

Insomnia

Emotional overwhelm

Loss of a sense of the future, hopelessness

Shame, feelings of being worthless

Few of no memories

Nightmares

Flashbacks

Unwanted intrusive memories

EMDR offers a structured method to address and alleviate some of the debilitating symptoms of trauma, helping people to live with a greater sense of ease and wellbeing.

EMDR was developed by Francine Shapiro in the late 1980s. It is a psychotherapy technique that aims to reduce the distress associated with traumatic memories. Unlike traditional talk therapies, EMDR does not require extensive discussion of the distressing event. Instead, it focuses on bilateral stimulation of the brain, which is believed to help the brain reprocess and integrate memories.

EMDR helps to facilitate the brain’s natural healing processes. Trauma can cause memories to be stored in a fragmented and maladaptive manner, leading to distressing symptoms such as flashbacks, anxiety, and hypervigilance. EMDR helps reprocess these memories, integrating them into a more adaptive framework.

During the desensitization phase, the therapist uses bilateral stimulation, typically through guided eye movements or use of vibrating paddles that are held in each hand. As the client recalls the traumatic event, the therapist guides them to focus on the memory while simultaneously engaging in the bilateral stimulation. Over time, this process reduces the emotional charge associated with the memory, making it less distressing.

Numerous studies have demonstrated the efficacy of EMDR in treating trauma. EMDR has been recognized by several health organizations, including the American Psychological Association and the World Health Organization, as an effective treatment for trauma and PTSD.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you would like some help. To enquire about an appointment at Moving Forward Clinical Psychologists, please complete our Online Contact Form, and a member of our team will be in touch shortly. Alternatively, please call us on 1300 133 013.

Our experienced Clinical Psychologists are located in Terrigal (10 minutes from Erina) on the beautiful NSW Central Coast. We are also available Australia wide, via