EMDR for traumatic events

Experiencing an accident can be a traumatic event. As a result of such an event, physical and emotional reactions may occur, such as fear, nightmares, re-experiences and (physical) panic attacks. As a result, a victim may not dare to get into a car after a collision, for example, which can affect functioning in daily life.

In such cases, EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing) can be an effective therapy for processing the trauma. EMDR works especially well when there are feelings of fear, sadness, anger and gloom that have arisen after such a major event.

The treatment is based on the simple principle that working memory cannot handle two tasks at once.

How does EMDR work?

How exactly does it work? During an EMDR session, the therapist asks you to think back to the event with all its associated emotions, thoughts and images. At the same time, you start offering clicks in your ears through headphones (alternating left/right). This is done in series, after which each time there is a brief reflection on what has changed. Anything can 'come up' during a session: a stream of thoughts, emotions and physical sensations. This is discussed briefly between sessions, but there is no need to talk much during the session itself. This is often seen as an advantage of therapy.

Because someone has to concentrate on the clicks and think back to the trauma at the same time, the working memory is burdened to such an extent that it is not possible to store the trauma with all its intense emotional charge in a deeper layer of the brain. The memory is stored without (or with less) sharp edges, as it were. This will greatly reduce the emotional charge of the memory of the event.

EMDR is an effective therapy and therefore usually only a few sessions are needed.

EMDR therapy in Haarlem

At our office, we offer this EMDR and clients are guided by Sabine Gigengack, recovery coach and psychologist. If you would like to know more please contact our office.