treatment approaches - qualia psychology


Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a powerful psychological treatment that has been used effectively for over 30 years in a variety of international settings and cultures with many different types of psychological distress. EMDR is a type of therapy which is helpful in processing disturbing life experiences which continue to affect day to day functioning.

While EMDR was originally developed for the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), it has also been used to treat other mental health issues, including:

• Phobias
• Panic Attacks
• Generalized Anxiety Disorder
• Social Anxiety
• Depression
• Grief and mourning
• Recent traumatic events

How does EMDR work?
From the EMDR institute…
EMDR therapy shows that the mind can in fact heal from psychological trauma much as the body recovers from physical trauma. When you cut your hand, your body works to close the wound. If a foreign object or repeated injury irritates the wound, it festers and causes pain. Once the block is removed, healing resumes. EMDR therapy demonstrates that a similar sequence of events occurs with mental processes. The brain’s information processing system naturally moves toward mental health. If the system is blocked or imbalanced by the impact of a disturbing event, the emotional wound festers and can cause intense suffering. Once the block is removed, healing resumes. Using the detailed protocols and procedures learned in EMDR therapy training sessions, clinicians help clients activate their natural healing processes.

Dual attention bilateral stimulation or BLS (eye movements, tactile taps, and auditory tones) are one component of EMDR. The eye movements used in EMDR seems to unlock the nervous system and allow your brain to process the experience. It is thought that this may also be what is happening in REM sleep, or dream sleep. Though the use of similar eye movement, the brain seems to unlock the negatively stored memories and process the event to a better resolution. The eye movements are used until the memory is less disturbing and becomes associated with a positive thought and belief.

EMDR treatment encourages distancing effects that are considered effective processing of the memory; this means the memory is no longer as vivid and felt with such emotional and physical intensity.

EMDR is recognised as an effective trauma treatment and recommended worldwide in the practice guidelines of both domestic and international organizations, including the World Health Organisation, the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), the Australian Psychological Society (APS) and the Australian Centre for Post Traumatic Mental Health.