EMDR works like this: A difficult experience/trauma is identified. When thinking of this experience, what the person feels emotionally, what physical sensations they experience in their body and what negative thoughts they have is noted. At this point, we identify how distressing the whole experience is on a scale of 1-10.

Then, what is called the processing stage of EMDR begins: Whilst focussing on the above experience, the person uses bilateral stimulation for short bursts of time. Through doing this repeatedly, the distress associated with the experience starts to lesson.

The 3 methods used for bilateral stimulation are called the light bar, tappers and headphones. With all these methods, the person focusses on the experience whilst, if using the light bar, they follow a light moving across a bar, or with tappers the hold an alternatively vibrating ‘tapper’ in each hand. If using headphones, they hear bilateral sounds in each ear.

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