EMDR helped Prince Harry take care of trauma. Right here’s the way it works

Prince Harry has credited EMDR with not solely serving to him take care of his household points, however saving his life. So what is that this highly effective psychotherapy, and does it work?

Based on proponents of EMDR, the remedy helps folks overcome previous trauma which will have loomed massive for years.

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A sort of psychotherapy, EMDR stands for eye motion desensitisation and reprocessing.

In the best setting and when carried out by an knowledgeable, it might be able to reaching one thing exceptional, in response to medical psychologist and accredited EMDR advisor Logan Harvey.

“I usually have to elucidate to those who this isn’t hocus-pocus,” Logan says.

“With EMDR, we’re creating the situations to help your mind to do one thing it may well naturally do, however it does really feel a bit like magic as a result of we are able to get fast decision of actually distressing or traumatic occasions.”

So, how does EMDR remedy work?

Throughout an EMDR session, the therapist guides their shopper to recall small segments of a traumatic reminiscence whereas concurrently specializing in rhythmic, bilateral eye actions.

Scientific psychologist Dr Sarah Dominguez says it helps to know that when a distressing occasion occurs, the mind typically doesn’t course of its reminiscence the identical manner it does different reminiscences.

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“The reminiscence can get caught in an ‘episodic kind’, the place it’s able to distorting future reminiscences – and remembering the trauma can really feel as unhealthy as going by way of it for the primary time,” Dr Dominguez, who’s on the board of the EMDR Affiliation of Australia, explains.

“By encouraging somebody to concentrate on that distressing reminiscence and one thing else – the attention actions – on the similar time, EMDR helps our mind ‘unstick’ or reprocess these reminiscences.”

Logan says this shrinks the reminiscence’s energy.

“Somebody may nonetheless really feel some unhappiness or emotion once they consider it, however they received’t expertise that flood of maximum emotion as if the reminiscence’s nonetheless occurring,” Logan explains.

“It may be extremely highly effective – I’ve seen individuals who’ve held deeply traumatic reminiscences for 30 years reprocess that reminiscence in 20 minutes … and it simply seems like every other reminiscence.”

What can EMDR be used for?

EMDR is likely one of the most researched psychotherapeutic approaches for post-traumatic stress dysfunction (PTSD), however therapists have efficiently used it to assist deal with a variety of situations, together with despair, nervousness, consuming problems, difficult grief, and sexual or bodily abuse.

“EMDR may be useful in any circumstance the place folks have distressing reminiscences from the previous which can be nonetheless impacting on their day-to-day functioning,” Dr Dominguez says, including that these reminiscences solely should be distressing for the shopper, and never essentially what others would contemplate distressing.

How lengthy does EMDR remedy take?

EMDR remedy entails eight phases, together with some devoted to figuring out the problematic reminiscences – which is one cause it’s very important to work with an EMDRAA-accredited therapist.

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Dr Dominguez says that whereas it usually takes round 12 periods to work by way of all eight phases, it may well take longer.

“It may be 20 or 30 periods, relying on the complexity of the reminiscences and what somebody’s remedy targets are.”

Are outcomes everlasting?

“Everybody’s totally different, however most individuals do discover that when they’ve reprocessed the reminiscence in query, it stays processed for the remainder of their life,” Dr Dominguez says.

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Written by Karen Fittall.