Eye Movement Desentisation & Reprocessing (EMDR) is recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO) for the treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and is also one of the recommended trauma treatment plans by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE Guidelines UK).
It is important to ensure that your EMDR Psychotherapist is fully qualified, having fully completed all three levels of EMDR training with an organisation accredited by EMDR UK & Ireland / EMDR Europe. All of which I have completed and I am in regular Clinical Supervision.
EMDR uses Bilateral Stimulation (BLS) which most commonly (and scientifically most effectively) uses eye movements; but can also utilise other forms of bilateral stimulation such as alternate 'tapping'; equipment that vibrates in alternate hands and also the use of bilateral sounds with earphones.
Trauma comes in many forms (sometimes known as 'Big T Traumas' & 'small t traumas'). This terminology is not meant to diminish or exaggerate either, for instance several 'small t traumas' can often accumulate to become more symptomatic than one 'Big T Trauma'. Simply, people react very differently to distressing experiences and where some may find experiences traumatic others may not. That said, it is safe to say that there are experiences that would generally be considered to be traumatic such as rape, sudden tragedy, childhood abuse, war experiences and such like. And although some childhood experiences such as bullying may not be considered traumatic in themselves, if you couple that with a lack of caring and/or support at home, this could become a very traumatic experience overall particularly if this is something experienced consistently over time.
There is an increasing academic and rigorous body of evidence to support the use of EMDR with issues such as depression, anxiety, addictions, OCD, anger and shame and is becoming less and less restricted to the treatment of trauma alone. I regularly work with all of the above using a variation of different methods.
EMDR sessions are very different to conventional 'talking therapies'. There is a time and place for both and it is not uncommon to alternate therapies such as EMDR with other conventional 'talking therapies'.
EMDR sessions last up to 1.5 hours, currently cost £80 per session and are conducted at least weekly. I use an EMDR 'lightbar' which I feel helps with the clinical process more than conventional hand-movements; although this has no bearing on efficacy and is simply a professional choice of mine.