EMDR: Now available at Insights Psychology

Compiled by Dr Samir Pathan, Clinical Psychologist, - June 13, 2024

Have you heard about EMDR therapy? EMDR stands for ‘Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing’. It is a mouthful, but at its core, EMDR is an evidence-based psychological therapy that helps people recover from a variety of mental health problems, including traumas, anxieties, depression, and phobias.

EMDR helps people process distressing memories and emotions by engaging in bilateral stimulation, such as eye movements or taps, to encourage healing and reduce the impact of past events. It's guides clients towards reprocessing negative experiences, leading to significant improvements in mental health and well-being. EMDR can be used with people across the lifespan, including young children (with appropriate adjustments).

There is also a growing amount of research highlighting EMDR’s effectiveness for neurodivergent people. Why is that? This is because EMDR provides a structured and gentle approach to processing emotions, making it easier for neurodivergent clients to navigate their inner world. Adaptations can be made so neurodivergent people can get the most out of EMDR. Examples include using visual rating scales, trying out different bilateral stimulation exercises to accommodate for sensory processing differences, allowing more time to develop trust and safety with the clinician, and developing concrete stabilization strategies (e.g., using objects for grounding, or using physical items as cues to support calm/safe state exercises).

Almost all of the work and healing in EMDR is done by the client but an EMDR trained therapist is present to guide the client through the several phases of the treatment in a compassionate and supportive manner.

At Insights Psychology several members of our Counselling department (including myself!) attended an EMDR training course. It was an intense training course over seven days, accredited by the EMDR Europe Association. Part of the training involved attendees receiving EMDR for a problem they wanted to address. Experiencing EMDR first hand really highlighted how powerful the intervention can be and has encouraged me to use the therapy with clients in my own practice.

I’m really pleased to have EMDR in my therapist toolkit. I value how it gives my clients the option to address sometimes very distressing experiences, without having to speak in detail about them. The structured approach has been appreciated by my neurodivergent and younger clients.

Here are some comments from members of our Counselling department:

“The training has been intense but well worth it. EMDR is a practical therapy that I have enjoyed using. Clients have given good feedback generally and results are evident immediately which is fantastic. I have particularly enjoyed adapting EMDR to the younger clients that I see, and it has been working well with them. The evidence base is vast, and I can see why. I'm tending to recommend and use EMDR as the first choice for therapy these days were appropriate.” Dr Dina Bedair, Director of Mental Health and Clinical Psychologist

“For me I thought the training was training was really successful. I saw some pretty significant transformations for all of us who were able to do the experiential work. Being able to see it first-hand was really useful as you could immediately see the success of the approach. I have used EMDR with a client of mine who is autistic and has ADHD; we've seen some quite significant shifts with respect to his anxiety around social situations and we’ve been able to work around some of the past memories and other more entrenched thoughts about being different and not good enough. I must say I wasn't really certain about using EMDR online, however the process actually works really well” Dr Claire Lewis, Clinical Psychologist

If you’d like to know more about EMDR and whether it could be helpful for a difficulty you’re going through, members of our Counselling department would be happy to offer a 20-minute free phone consultation. Please contact our admin via +971 56 266 0227 to find out more.

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