Brighton and Hove Psychotherapy

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing):

EMDR is a type of psychotherapy which is increasingly well-known and popular, amongst both therapists and clients.   It has been well-researched and, as a result, is recommended by NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence) for the treatment of PTSD (Post-traumatic Stress Disorder).   It is now increasingly used for other problems (including anxiety, depression, and chronic pain), which may have their root in problematic memories. 

When we experience a difficult event in life our brain works to 'process' the difficult feelings so that we can resolve the situation in our mind.  We have all had a difficult experience at some time that we have been able to get over.   For instance, a long-term relationship ending, or the death of someone we love.   We may feel very distressed, but eventually the feeling is worked through and we are able to live with what has happened.  Over time, and bit by bit, our mind processes the new difficult experience until we feel OK again.  Sometimes, the difficult event is so hard or traumatic, that our brain has trouble processing - it's as if our whole system has been overloaded.  We may then have 'frozen' memories of that event and experience similar feelings every time it comes into our awareness.  This is an unresolved or 'traumatic' memory.

EMDR is a way of unblocking the natural system of processing, so that it is no longer 'frozen'.  It uses a procedure to help the brain start to re-process difficult and traumatic material.  The technique used is called 'bi-lateral stimulation' because it aims to stimulate alternately each side of the brain (left/right).  In sessions this is done either with eye movements or with some other bi-lateral stimulation, eg tapping on hands or listening to sounds.   

EMDR should only be practised by people who have trained specifically in this therapy, and by those with previous experience of working as a therapist.  I am an EMDR Europe Consultant, which means I am accredited to work as a therapist and supervisor for EMDR.  I have also worked as an EMDR therapist within an NHS service. 

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You can watch an information video (from the US) here:

If you are interested in EMDR please contact me on 07708 943 002 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Helen Lea Brighton Psychotherapist