Think of all the new technologies that you’ve experienced in your life time. Depending on when you were born, could you imagine life without the internet! Without wifi? Without mobile phones or microwave ovens or video ….

Imagine if you could now go forward in time, and imagine life without the newer invention of the psychology strategy – EMDR (Eye movement desensitisation is such a wordy mouthful so we shorten it to EMDR).

First developments for PTSD

EMDR was originally developed for treating Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Prior to the development of EMDR many people had to live through the emotional pain and distress of reliving a trauma event over and over, in terms of nightmares, flashbacks and intrusive memories, usually impacting on the person’s life such that they would avoid reminders of the incident and experience panic attacks in situations that would trigger anxiety.

But I don’t have PTSD?

Over more recent years, the application of EMDR has been broadened to treat intense experiences of shame, bullying, anxiety, grief and chronic physical pain.

It can also be used to help with future events, which may involve some kind of performance, like speaking in front of an audience, undergoing a job interview or exam, or doing well in your chosen sport!

Example cases of people we help everyday:

– Anxiety about maintaining aspects of your work
– Social anxiety
– Bullying at school or work
– Motor vehicle accidents
– Work accidents
– Overcome having been assaulted
– Dealing with the loss of a close friend or relative
– Overcoming a shame experience at a work meeting
– Performing well for your job interview
– Childbirth Trauma

What is EMDR ?

EMDR essentially uses eye movement, while asking the client to focus on the “target memory” of the event and the “negative belief” or interpretation arising from the event for periods of 30 seconds at a time. Research has shown that it helps the patient, neurologically process the memory. During session, and over success exposures to the memory with eye movement, patients report a gradual change in how they view the event, with corresponding benefit to a decrease in emotional intensity and physical sensations associated with the memory.

The second phase of EMDR involves installing a new “positive belief” regarding the memory, this pairing the memory with the positive belief or interpretation.

EMDR – The Flash Technique

The Flash Technique was more recently introduced as an earlier option for memories where the patient reports an emotional intensity of 8-10 out of 10 on an emotional intensity scale where 0 is no intensity and 10 is the most extreme emotional intensity.

By asking the patient to first imagine a scene which they find to be pleasurable and relaxin (“a special place”), and then asking the patient to quickly “flash” or “flick” to the memory for briefer than a second, and then back to their special place – the memory itself decreases in intensity.

Often the process takes 15-30 minutes, with the intensity decreasing down to 5 or 6, or sometimes as low as 2,3 or 4 out of 10, making it easier for the patient to undergo “standard EMDR”.

How many sessions does it take?

The number of sessions involved varies depending on the person’s presenting issues and how recently the trauma occurred. Generally it may take from 1-6 sessions to process a specific memory.

What to do next?

Stop finding reasons to put it off, and act today. The sooner that you address your presenting concerns, the sooner you experience the benefit.

Call our lovely admin staff on 6381 0297 to book a time today.

Book online at with our psychologists who are trained in EMDR:

– Carla Bormolini
– Linda Johnson
– Tara Yewers
– Lisa Irving