‘I can only describe EMDR as looking at a photo which conjures up hurt and pain, then afterwards it is slightly blurred, far away and less painful.’
Help your employees let go and move forward with EMDR – eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing. Confidence to Return offers this psychological therapy which could help your team member overcome emotional trauma that is affecting their work life.
Causes of emotional trauma
Emotional trauma can be caused by common, if distressing, life experiences that can leave a negative imprint on the brain. It’s the same as how soldiers can be affected by war, witnesses by terrorist attacks, or casualties by accidents or natural disasters.
Why your employee might need some extra help
- loss of a baby
- a traumatic pregnancy or birth
- witnessing a terrorist attack
- a personal loss
- a #MeToo incident at work
Signs of emotional trauma
If your staff member displays any of these symptoms it could be a sign that they have unprocessed negative memories of an emotional issue:
- display anger or impatience towards colleagues
- seem sad or anxious
- imagine the worst possible outcome in work situations
- appear physically restless and easily alarmed
- avoid colleagues or team building events they would usually enjoy
- complain of sleep disorders and nightmares
- suffer body pain and migraines
- become afraid of speaking out at work
How EMDR differs from other counselling
You might have been told that your employee needs ‘more counselling’ by the Employee Assistance Programme.
EMDR offers a different, less invasive approach to talking therapies that could suit your employee better, and can offer faster results.
- has immediate results and so works much faster than talking therapies, which can be drawn out
- does not involve going into detail about painful events
- stimulates different areas of the brain, rather than just relying on what a persons thinks and feels.
- lowers their distress, changes their perception and initiates self-healing
Results of EMDR
A sense of calm is what people often feel after EMDR therapy.
When recalling the previously traumatic event, instead of 'experiencing' it, they access the memory in a more emotionally detached way — the potency of the feelings lifts and the memory is filed away in the brain.
EMDR creates more self-healing in the following days and weeks, which frees up unwanted emotions and allows people to let go and move forward with their live, at home and at work.
What EMDR therapy involves
As EMDR therapists, we use bilateral stimulation from eye movements, tapping or auditory techniques.
As patients, your employees will:
- sit comfortably in a quiet room, facing the therapist.
- be asked to follow the therapist’s gentle instructions about where to look and what to think and talk about.
- discuss their problems, symptoms and feelings. They do not have to reveal all the details of their traumatic experience.
- be guided through a process known as desensitisation and reprocessing.
- process their negative feelings and begin to recognise that they no longer need to hold on to some of them.
Confidence to Return EMDR therapy session plan
- A personal plan for your employee will be recommended after an introductory 90 minute session.
- The 2nd session will be 90 minutes long and will prepare your employee for therapy.
- Subsequent sessions will be 90 minutes long and will focus on one area or ‘symptom’ at a time.
Session plan includes:
- free email support
- half an hour of free telephone support
Number of EMDR therapy sessions needed
The number of sessions needed varies according to the individual and what they are dealing with.
Your employee needs to commit to consecutive weekly sessions for the treatment to be effective.
The results become more powerful as time passes.
Background to EMDR Therapy
EMDR has offered relief and freedom from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) since being developed by Dr Francine Shapiro in the 1980s. Now it is used to provide healing and relief from a host of emotional, psychological and physical symptoms and issues.
As Shapiro says: ‘Whatever the persistent negative emotion, belief or behaviour that has been bothering you, it’s not the cause of the suffering – it’s the symptom. The likely cause is the memory that’s pushing it.’
Why negative memories are stored
Brains under stress might not process memories properly.
Usually, our brains process and ‘make sense’ of our experiences when storing them as memories. But intense and disturbing emotional experiences can overwhelm our processing systems. This leaves our brains unable to make sense of the experience and the negative memories are stored in unprocessed form. This is why time does not heal all wounds; anger, resentment, pain and sorrow are frozen in time and can form today’s emotional and physical problems.