Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy in Fitzroy

November 10, 2023

Reflection Psychology is introducing a transformative approach to mental health care with EMDR therapy. Spearheaded by our newest psychologist, Melanie Strang, this innovative therapy offers a beacon of hope for those grappling with psychological distress.

Understanding EMDR therapy

EMDR therapy, conceptualised by Francine Shapiro in 1989, is a unique form of psychotherapy designed to alleviate the distress associated with traumatic memories. Unlike traditional talk therapies, EMDR focuses on the rhythmic eye movements of patients to help process and diminish the emotional impact of past traumas.

The EMDR Process

EMDR therapy has eight distinct phases.

Phase 1: History taking and treatment planning
This initial phase involves understanding the client’s past experiences and current symptoms to tailor a personalized treatment plan. It’s about building a foundation for the therapeutic journey.

Phase 2: Preparation
Here, the therapist establishes trust and explains the EMDR process. Clients learn techniques to manage emotional distress and are prepared for the actual processing of memories.

Phase 3: Assessment
In this phase, the client and therapist identify specific target memories for treatment. The client selects the most disturbing image related to the memory and identifies negative beliefs and emotions associated with it.

Phase 4: Desensitisation
This is where the core of EMDR occurs. The client focuses on the target memory while engaging in bilateral stimulation, such as eye movements. This process helps to reduce the emotional charge of the memory.

Phase 5: Installation
The goal here is to strengthen positive beliefs. The client pairs these positive beliefs with the target memory, replacing the negative thoughts and emotions.

Phase 6: Body scan
The client is asked to notice any physical sensations while thinking about the target memory and positive belief. Any residual tension is targeted for further processing.

Phase 7: Closure
This phase ensures the client leaves each session feeling better than when they arrived. Techniques are used to bring the client back to equilibrium.

Phase 8: Reevaluation
At the beginning of each new session, the therapist checks the client’s progress and determines if previous targets have been adequately processed or if new ones have emerged.

The science behind EMDR therapy

EMDR’s effectiveness lies in its ability to activate both sides of the brain, facilitating the processing of traumatic memories. Studies, including those cited by the American Psychological Association and WebMD, have shown EMDR’s efficacy in treating PTSD, anxiety, and other mental health conditions.

Embrace healing with EMDR therapy in Fitzroy

At Reflection Psychology in Fitzroy, EMDR therapy, under the expert guidance of Melanie Strang, offers a path to healing and emotional freedom. If you’re seeking a transformative therapeutic experience, EMDR at Reflection Psychology could be your key to unlocking a more peaceful and fulfilling life.

Contact us if you would like to find out more.