First Psychology Dundee – counselling | CBT | psychotherapy | coaching

Eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR) for trauma

Our Dundee centre is pleased to offer eye movement desensitisation (EMDR) therapy for trauma.

What is EMDR?

EMDR replicates the rapid eye movement (REM) process that happens automatically when we sleep. This process is believed to help us deal with difficult or painful memories allowing us to gradually come to terms with them.

Sometimes when people have difficult or painful experiences and get very upset, their brains struggle to fully process the memories of these experiences and the moment can be frozen in time in their heads and repeat itself over and over again. This forces them to re-live the experience and all the emotions that went with it and can have a significant impact on their general wellbeing and their ability to get on with life. 

A session of EMDR will involve moving your eyes in a particular way while also thinking about the events that have caused upset and distress. The process is believed to help the brain process the upsetting memories fully so that normal processing can resume. EMDR is not a talking therapy and while some people find it helpful to talk about the memories that are causing distress, this is not a requirement of EMDR. 

What sort of trauma is EMDR used for?

EMDR is mainly used to help with distress resulting from traumatic and upsetting memories. These include car crashes / road accidents, physical violation / assault or the loss of a loved one. It is a popular therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder, but it is increasingly being used for other issues including performance anxiety, stress, eating disorders and body dysmorphic issues, phobias, panic attacks, pain disorders, addictions, physical / sexual abuse, grief, and personality disorders. 

Is there evidence that EMDR works?

Scientific research has shown EMDR to be effective for trauma related problems such as PTSD and phobias, but it doesn’t work for everyone. Although EMDR is a popular therapy, it is important to say that it is not suitable for all types of psychological trauma or difficulty, and therefore the psychologist, CBT Therapist or counsellor will always undertake a thorough assessment with each client before agreeing that EMDR is the right type of approach to take. In some instances, such as where things are very complicated or a client struggles to manage things when they are distressed, EMDR may not be seen as suitable and therefore alternative approaches may be suggested – either as a way of building up to EMDR or as an alternative approach with the aim of achieving the same outcome through different means.

Find out more about EMDR or book an appointment 

If you would like to know more about EMDR or other trauma therapy/PTSD services or wish to book an initial session with an EMDR practitioner, please contact us. We would be delighted to hear from you.


Practitioners offering EMDR for Trauma therapy in Dundee: