Mt Lawley Counselling Centre, Perth - Western AustraliaMt Lawley Counselling Centre, Perth - Western Australia

Perth Counselling   •   Individual Psychotherapy   •   Couples Therapy   •   Sex Therapy

  Home Page
  Contact Us

  Perth Counsellors
arrow Elyse Frankel        
arrow Hank Glorie
arrow Samantha McLaughlin
arrow Julia Pemberton
arrow Daniel Mills
arrow Fiona Owen
arrow Matt Tilley
arrow Adele Wilde
arrow Rebecca Lyon
arrow Sherry-Lee Smith
arrow Sandra Manessis
arrow Katrina Alilovic
arrow Kate O'Donovan
arrow Jeannie Minchin

  Counselling Articles
arrow Adolescent Depression
arrow Adolescent Self-harm
arrow Adolescents & Young Adults
arrow Adults Who Grew Up Unhappy
arrow Affairs
arrow After an Affair
arrow Anger Management
arrow Anxiety
arrow Anxiety, Trauma & Relationships
arrow Becoming a Parent
arrow Being Easily Overwhelmed
arrow Betrayal in Intimate Relationships
arrow Binge Eating
arrow Binge Drinking
arrow Body Image and Body
  Dysmorphic Disorder
arrow Childhood Attachments
arrow Child & Adolescent Anxiety
arrow Child & Adolescent Grief
arrow Childhood Sexual Abuse
arrow Children & Separation/Divorce
arrow Chronic Pain
arrow Commitment Phobia
arrow Confidence, Motivation and
  Self Esteem
arrow Coping with Fertility Problems
arrow Coping with Trauma
arrow Couples Counselling for a
  Healthier Relationship
arrow Couples: Distance and Distress
arrow Creating a Meaningful Life
arrow Depression
arrow Eating Disorders
arrow Eye Movement Desensitisation
  and Reprocessing (EMDR)
arrow Family Estrangement
arrow Fear of Rejection
arrow Homesickness in Adults
arrow How Therapy can help Trauma
arrow Hypnotherapy
arrow Insecure in Love
arrow Insomnia
arrow Internet Pornography
arrow Identifying Problems in Marital
arrow Jealousy
arrow Life After Divorce
arrow Menopause & Relationships
arrow Mental Health
arrow Mindfulness and Letting Go
arrow Motherless Daughters
arrow Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
arrow Panic Attacks and Panic Disorder
arrow Postnatal Depression
arrow Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
arrow Recovery after Psychosis
arrow Recovery from Depression
arrow Redundancy: The Emotional Impact
arrow Relationship Counselling:
  What's Involved?
arrow Separation
arrow Self Esteem & the Inner Critic
arrow Sex, Intimacy & Love
arrow Sexual Assault
arrow Sexuality and Sexual Concerns
arrow Shame
arrow Thinking of Separating?
arrow The Fly In Fly Out Lifestyle
arrow Trauma
arrow Working with Anger in Therapy
arrow Workplace Stress & Anxiety
arrow Young Adulthood - Issues and

Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR)

Fiona Owen

Counsellor and Psychotherapist
Perth, Western Australia

EMDR has been shown to be effective in the treatment of trauma. The approach is used worldwide and has shown to have successful outcomes in treating both complex trauma and single event traumatisation. Many therapists have confirmed the success of the EMDR process in working with a range of traumatic experiences and the resulting maladaptive coping strategies some people use to try and function after exposure to trauma.

Memories are stored in different parts of the body. A memory will contain sensory information about an event, the meaning a person gives to the event and their emotional response to the event. A memory network consists of connected memories. The connection between memories is by way of common elements of the stimulus, common meaning, common emotional response or combination of these. The memory network is activated by associated stimuli, associated interpretations, associated emotional states or a combination of these. For example I know yellow roses have a scent and they attract bees, they also have thorns. I have this information because my memory has that information stored. When I see a yellow rose I like to smell it and yet at the same time I am careful to looks for bees and not to touch the stem.

Often when something traumatic happens it seems to get locked in the nervous system with the original picture, sound, thoughts and feelings. This prevents the appropriate integration and storage of that memory.The memory can be a single event or something that has happened over an extended amount of time. Since the experience is locked in the system it will continue to be triggered whenever a reminder comes up. This can be the basis for considerable discomfort and negative emotions such as fear and helplessness that the body seems unable to control. These emotions are connected with old experiences that are being triggered. The eye movement used in EMDR somehow appears to unlock the nervous system and allow the brain to process the experience so that the memory can be appropriately filed. As processing unfolds, all aspects of the memory are affected- the memory itself, associated thoughts, the emotions and body sensations.

Recovery depends on the degree to which the memory network is reactivated and information which is non threatening can be introduced to counter the threatening interpretation allowing processing of traumatic memories.

In EMDR a node is the memory or image of an event, its associated meaning and the emotional response. The connection between nodes may be by way of common elements of the stimulus, meaning or emotional response. For therapy to be most successful the trigger memory, the meaning and the feeling of the encoded memory need to reconnected to allow processing. A traumatic event causes changes in the brains structure that disrupts the brains ability to process material. The emotional part of the brain inhibits the thinking part which is where the processing takes place. EMDR allows these parts to communicate so the client can look back at the experience more clearly. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder rises when the brain fails to appropriately consolidate and integrate episodic ( the event) memory into semantic (meaning making)memory and as a result associations between that traumatic event and other related events fail to develop preventing processing of the event. EMDR restores the balance, allowing accelerated information processing by improving the hemispheric communications.

In the procedure of EMDR the therapist will get the client to track their fingers as they move them across the clients line of vision. Simultaneously the client will work to witness a chosen trauma memory and with support from the therapist, process the memory.

EMDR can be used not only for reprocessing stuck memories but also for the adaptations that have developed to cope with the traumatic memory. Certain behaviour often arise initially as a way to cope with the unprocessed memory. These start out as stress reducers and can become highly dysfunctional over time as the behaviour becomes addictive and used out of awareness for relief. EMDR has also been shown to be helpful in treating the associated disorders such as excessive use of alcohol and other drugs, obsessive compulsive disorders and even disorders such as skin picking and nail biting.

For further information go to - EMDR client handout

If you would like any further information about the EMDR, please contact Fiona Owen Certified Gestalt Psychotherapist, MSc Social Science (Counselling), BSc Psychology
Call 0409 995 411

Click here to go to Fiona Owen's page

Click here to go back to the main page

Elyse | Hank | Samantha | Julia | Daniel | Fiona | Matt
Adele | Rebecca | Sherry | Sandra | Katrina | Kate | Jeannie

© Mt Lawley Counselling Centre - Perth, Western Australia
Counselling • Individual Psychotherapy • Couples Therapy • Sex Therapy
Web Design Perth