Peter is a registered psychologist and trained in the delivery of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). Peter takes a holistic approach, seeking to collaboratively build psychological flexibility, as well as engagement in a rich, full and meaningful life. Applied wisely, EMDR can be a helpful tool in your recovery journey.
EMDR is a therapy designed to alleviate distress associated with adverse experiences. EMDR Therapy helps people process and resolve disturbing and distressing past traumatic memories so they are no longer negatively impacted by those events.
EMDR Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently asked questions about Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
According to the Australian Psychological Association (APS), EMDR is a “Level I evidence-based psychological intervention for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in adults”.
Scientific research suggests EMDR may be considered an effective treatment for improving symptoms of depression. EMDR is well suited to processing adverse childhood experiences. Adverse childhood experiences increase the likelihood of becoming depressed, the severity and duration of depression and its likelihood of recurrence.
EMDR can help people experiencing complex trauma. Approximately 2.5 million Australian adults (13%) are survivors of childhood abuse. Complex Trauma occurs as a result of repeated trauma experienced by a child or young person. Scientific research supports the clinical efficiency of EMDR in treating Complex Trauma. EMDR treatment does NOT require intensive prolonged exposure to the traumatic experiences.
Adverse childhood experiences and negative life events increase the likelihood of experiencing bipolar depression. Scientific research suggests EMDR may be a safe and effective treatment for improving symptoms of bipolar depression. This may be partly explained by EMDR’s usefulness in reducing the impact of traumatic events and trauma symptoms.
During EMDR treatment the client focuses simultaneously on:
(a) spontaneous associations of traumatic images, thoughts, emotions and bodily sensations and
(b) bilateral stimulation that is most commonly in the form of repeated eye movements or physical tapping.
A phased approach to treating trauma is recommended including stabilisation, processing of memories and consolidation of treatment gains. The EMDR preparation phase focuses on self-regulation using safe/calm place imagery. EMDR integrates naturally into other stabilisation approaches such as trauma informed ACT (psychological flexibility) and trauma informed Compassion Focused Therapy. Processing of memories is achieved utilising EMDR bilateral stimulation during desensitisation and subsequent phases. In addition to EMDR consolidation of memory processing, ACT and Compassionate Mind Training provide more wholistic frameworks to continue consolidation of treatment gains.
EMDR offers a number of advantages when treating complex PTSD including:
- lower dropout rates than other C-PTSD treatments
- not requiring clients to recall in detail traumatic memories during de-sensitising and reprocessing
- addressing defectiveness, shame and guilt that many trauma survivors find hard to shift
EMDR can be helpful during all three trauma treatment phases including:
EMDR has been found to be a safe and feasible intervention for people with psychosis. People experiencing schizophrenia or psychosis often have significant trauma histories and EMDR can be helpful in reducing distress associated with traumatic memories.
In the traumatic stress field, interventions have been considered early when treatment is initiated within 3 months after a traumatic event occurred. These early interventions aim to treat symptoms associated with PTSD and also to prevent the development of PTSD and other disorders. The EMDR Recent Traumatic Episode Protocol (R-TEP) takes the wisdom of the Standard EMDR Protocol, and applies it in adapted form for recent events to provide a comprehensive approach to Early EMDR Intervention. Studies of show that EMDR early interventions significantly reduce symptoms of traumatic stress and prevented any exacerbation of symptoms. EMDR was superior to wait-list and to control conditions of critical incident stress debriefing, reassurance therapy, and supportive counseling.