City Psyche Expat Counselling and Psychotherapy in Dubai & Online

EMDR - Attachment Focussed EMDR

Eye movement desensitisation reprocessing (EMDR) is a NICE recommended treatment for Trauma. The technique was developed by Francine Shapiro in 1989. EMDR uses a natural function of the body, Rapid Eye Movement (REM), as its basis. The human mind uses REM during sleep time to help it process daily emotional experiences and when trauma is extreme, this process breaks down and REM sleep doesn’t bring the usual relief from distress. The EMDR process is thought to produce an advanced stage of the REM processing, as the brain, via the eye-movement, processes troubling images and feelings, resolution of the issue can be achieved by dampening the power of emotionally charged memories.

EMDR therapy is not limited to simply taking symptoms away. It addresses the past, present and future. The goal is to allow the person to achieve a complete state of emotional health. Prior to treatment beginning, your therapist and you will create a ‘safe place’ – somewhere your mind can drift to, if, during your treatment you become distressed at recalling the event. Gradually, the therapist will guide you to shift your thoughts to more pleasant ones. Therapists use other alternatives to eye movements, as this does not suit all clients. such as hand vibrators, earphones or tapping. All methods are effective and provide bi-lateral stimulation which helps to process any trauma.

EMDR weakens the effect of negative emotions and the ‘charge’ behind emotions when recalling the event. Before and after each EMDR treatment, your therapist will ask you to rate your level of distress. The hope is that your disturbing memories will become less disabling.


As with any treatment or therapy, each person is different, however treatment can be very rapid, but, the number of sessions will vary, according to the complexity of the issues being dealt with. In general, the more isolated the traumatic memory being treated, the shorter the treatment tends to be. For individuals with a history of multiple painful experiences and years of feeling bad about them, a number of EMDR sessions may be needed.

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