EMDR - Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing - is a particularly effective therapy in helping to manage high levels of emotional distress that can be impacting on daily life. EMDR has been approved by NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence) for working with people who are experiencing symptoms of post traumatic stress such as flashbacks, nightmares, anxiety, hyper-vigilance and hyper-arousal. When emotional problems stem from earlier memories then EMDR has been found to be useful in working with depression and anxiety.
EMDR was originally developed by Francine Shapiro in the late 1980s in the USA. Whilst we are not certain how this works we believe that the process of bilateral stimulation (eye movements or taps) is similar to the process that occurs during the period of sleep when rapid eye movement occurs. It is at this stage that daily life events are processed and integrated into the memory. When traumatic events take place the ability of the brain to process and make sense of the memory can be affected; the memory can be frozen so that whenever a similar emotion, sensation or situation arises it is as though you are back at the point when the trauma took place.
The bilateral stimulation used in EMDR facilitates the processing of the memory as in REM and brings adaptive information 'on-line' so that we are able to make sense of what happened and to reduce the emotional intensity of traumatic memories.
Further information about this therapy can be obtained from: www.emdrassociation.org.uk or www.emdr-europe.org
CBT - Cognitive Behavioural Therapy - is a practical approach to challenge unhelpful thoughts and behaviour, it too has been approved by NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence) for working with all types of anxiety and depression. There is a good body of evidence-based research which supports this effective short-term intervention.
The theory behind CBT is that negative thoughts influence our feelings and behaviour so that by challenging the way that we think about things, we can change our feelings and thereby our behaviour.
More information about CBT can be obtained from: www.babcp.com