If something traumatic has happened to you (whether is be a car accident, abuse or something seemingly less significant like being humiliated) the memory of your experience may come crashing back into your mind, forcing you to relive the original event with the same intensity of feeling – as if it is taking place in the present moment.
Those experiences that pop into your awareness may present themelves as either flashbacks or nightmares, and are thought to occur because the mind was simply too overwhelmed during the event to process what was going on. As a result these unprocessed memories and the accompanying sights, sounds, thoughts and feelings are stored in the brain in 'raw' form, where they can be accessed each time we experience something that triggers a recollection of the original event.
While it isn't possible to erase these memories, The process of Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprocessing (EMDR) can alter the way these traumatic memories are stored within the brain – making them easier to manage and causing you less distress.
The therapy is used to address a wide range of psychological difficulties that typically originate in trauma, such as direct or indirect experiences of violence, accidents or natural disaster. EMDR is also used to treat more prolonged, low-grade distress that originates in shock or loss in adult life and/or issues experienced during childhood. The experiences outlined above often lead to a post-traumatic stress disorder diagnosis, for which EMDR has been recommended by the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE).