Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy is an evidence based, proven and integrative psychotherapeutic approach for the treatment of trauma and other previously unresolved emotional, psychological and physical issues.

It is based on the idea that all current pervasive, intrusive and negative thoughts, feelings, behaviours and self-beliefs are the result of unprocessed memories that have originated in traumatic experiences or adverse life events. 

The therapy involves following a set of standardised procedures and protocols including simultaneously focussing on images, thoughts, emotions, body sensations and self-beliefs while repeated bilateral eye movement is applied. The bilateral eye movement stimulates the brain to access its natural healing mechanism to process blocked content and clients achieve profound changes to symptoms that were previously resistant to other therapeutic techniques.

Repeated clinical studies show that people can experience emotional healing using the EMDR technique and can heal from psychological trauma in the same way that the body can heal from physical trauma if the right conditions are available.

EMDR Therapy is recommended by the  World Health Organisation, the American Psychiatric Association and the US Department of Defence for the treatment of trauma and trauma related conditions.  

Why see an EMDR therapist?

Many clients have spent years in traditional therapy and find it hard to imagine that their emotional trauma is something that can be healed; they can also be wary of discussing traumatic events in an effort to avoid re-experiening painful memories. Like cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), EMDR Therapy aims to reduce disturbance and increase client resilience and inner strength related to traumatic events. But unlike trauma focussed CBT, EMDR Therapy does not require the client to re-experience trauma by fixating on a detailed description of the event, extended re-exposure or homework tasks. Because of this, EMDR Therapy can be safely used in the treatment of events ranging from single incident traumas to the most extreme cases of chronic complex trauma.


There have been significant changes in the way that EMDR Therapy has been practised over the last 20 years as a result of extensive evidence based research, empirical observation and advances in neuroscience and brain plasticity.  It is best to choose a therapist that has undertaken the latest EMDR Institute training at an advanced level so that you can be assured that their skill set is up to date and reflect the significant changes, progress and advanced applications of EMDR therapy.


EMDR therapy is an eight phase model; clients must be assessed, reviewed, stabilised and resourced before eye movement reprocessing begins. The processing phase may access a myriad of memories, some of which may be repressed so it is essential that clients are resourced to manage anything that may arise during or after a session.  The amount of time that the complete treatment will take depends on each client and their individual history.

Research and links 

EMDR Association of Australia http://emdraa.org

EMDR International Association https://www.emdr.com

EMDR Institute Inc. https://www.emdr.com

European EMDR Association http://www.emdr-europe.org

EMDRIA Francine Shapiro Library https://emdria.omeka.net


  • Body image difficulties
  • Self-esteem issues
  • Assertiveness
  • Confidence building
  • Performance anxiety or deficits in studies, business, social situations, performing arts or sports
  • Sexual performance anxiety
  • Phobias
  • Panic disorders
  • Generalised panic disorder
  • Panic attacks
  • Anxiety and depression caused by disturbing life experiences
  • Obsessive compulsive behaviours
  • Sex addiction/compulsive sexual behaviours
  • Painful Intercourse
  • Pain disorders
  • Excessive and unresolved grief
  • Alcohol and other substance addictions
  • Teeth Grinding (Bruxism)
  • Developmental and attachment trauma
  • Resolving the impacts of traumatic relationships
  • Resolution of disturbing memories and traumatic events
  • Anger management and resolution
  • Abuse
  • Trauma related dissociative states
  • Trauma based personality issues
  • Trauma therapy for crime victims, police officers, fire fighters and field workers
  • Catastrophic life events
  • Victims of natural and manmade disasters
  • Accident, surgery and burn victims
  • Sexual assault
  • Adult survivors of child sexual assault
  • Post traumatic stress disorder
  • Somatoform disorders such as migraines, headaches, chronic pain, phantom limb pain, chronic eczema, gastrointestinal problems, chronic fatigue syndrome, psychogenic seizures, body image issues
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  • Eating disorders such as anorexia, orthorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorder
  • Insomnia/Sleep Disturbance
  • Gambling addiction