emdr therapy

Eye Movement Desensitisation  and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is an highly effective and extensively researched treatment for trauma. The World Health Organisation, American Psychiatric Association, American Psychological Association, UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, the US Dept. of Veteran Affairs/Dept. of Defense, the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, and many other international organisations recognise EMDR as an effective treatment for trauma.

When we experience a disturbing event, our brain is capable of processing it and metabolising the disturbance, and grow and learn adaptively from the experience. Sometimes an event may be so disturbing that it gets "stuck" and doesn't finish processing. The event remains in the form of "live shrapnels" of images, sounds, smells, emotions or bodily sensations. These can be triggered by seemingly ordinary incidents, and our mind and body reacts as if it is still experiencing the disturbing event. 

EMDR can help metabolise these "stuck" experiences. It helps the brain resume the processing so that a healthy and adult perspective of the event emerges. 

EMDR is not the same as hypnosis. EMDR doesn't require clients to enter a trance-like state. In EMDR therapy, clients are aware of their thoughts and body sensations at all times. The side-to-side (bilateral) eye movement frees up the brain so that it can resume processing the traumatic material. 


When we discuss trauma, the most common issue that springs to mind is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). However, EMDR can be used for a wide range of issues in addition to PTSD. 

Many mental health issues have their origins in trauma. EMDR has been successfully used to treat a variety of psychological issues, including but not limited to - 


Aside from the fact that EMDR is a gold standard of trauma therapy and can be applied to treat many mental health issues, there are some specific reasons why clients prefer EMDR


EMDR International Association (EMDRIA) is a non-profit membership and credentialing organisation. Based in the United States, EMDRIA sets the standards and requirements for EMDR training and continuing education in EMDR. Other countries and regions have their own EMDR associations, but EMDRIA is the peak organisation that was formed under the guidance of Dr Francine Shapiro, the developer of EMDR therapy.  

I completed the EMDRIA Approved Basic Training in EMDR under Dr Philip Manfield, and now am preparing to be certified in EMDR. I have regular consultations with an EMDRIA approved EMDR Consultant. 

I am a Full Member of EMDRIA, and you can find me on their therapist directory.


EMDR was developed by Dr Francine Shapiro in the late 1980s. As the story goes, Dr Shapiro was taking a walk in a park, and noticed that side-to-side eye movements reduced the disturbance associated with her thoughts. Thus started her lifelong effort into the research and development of EMDR therapy. 

EMDR recently was in the spotlight with Prince Harry and Sandra Bullock talking about how they benefited from it. 

Prince Harry on EMDR for his childhood trauma

Sandra Bullock on EMDR for her trauma from a home break-in by an armed intruder.