As an Employee Support Coach, I have trained intensively in diverse and accredited therapies.
Working with forward-thinking HR leaders, Beyond EAP provides specialist support for life’s toughest challenges.
These challenges come in many forms, and they affect all of us in different ways. It is therefore important that I can draw upon a range of techniques for each individual employee I work with, to help them build emotional resilience for the future.
One of the most effective therapies I choose to work with is EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing.)
Developed in the 1980s by the US psychotherapist Francine Shapiro, EMDR is a form of therapy that helps people recover from trauma caused by distressing past events. It is recognised by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) as a treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
What kind of trauma does EMDR help with?
I have witnessed truly transformative results from my employee work with EMDR over the years.
However, this therapy has largely flown under the radar, until Prince Harry was filmed undergoing EMDR during a recent episode of ‘The Me You Can’t See’, a five-part Apple TV series about mental health.
Some viewers may have been surprised to hear the prince talk about the trauma he still felt following the death of his mother, which happened when he was just 12 years old. Along with the excessive scrutiny of his family by UK tabloids, he linked this childhood event to experiencing fear and discomfort as an adult, particularly when he travelled to London.
Many distressing life experiences, such as being involved in an accident, a surprise bereavement, or witnessing a terrorist attack, can leave a negative imprint on the brain that can remain for many years.
It is also worth remembering that trauma can also result from what may seem like ‘everyday’ life experiences, such as divorce, miscarriage, or an upsetting incident at work.
These are all examples of issues that I have seen respond extremely well to EMDR therapy, which in essence helps the brain to reprocess a distressing memory. This both reduces its intensity and desensitises its emotional impact.
"For me, therapy has equipped me to be able to take on anything" (Prince Harry)
A useful benefit of EMDR is that it often works much faster than traditional talking therapies, which can be complicated, and more focused on reliving painful events in depth.
While the number of sessions needed will vary from person to person, EMDR works quickly in most cases, with controlled studies showing that a single trauma can be processed within 3-4 sessions in 80–90% of participants. Many people report feeling a sense of calm after just one session.
EMDR also creates self-healing in the following days and weeks, which helps people to build emotional resilience, frees them from unwanted emotions, and allows them to let go and move forwards with life and work.
Find out more about EMDR for your employees
My website describes EMDR in depth, describing the process, what symptoms to look for in your employees, and answering some of the most common questions.
As an EMDR practitioner for many years, I understand its value, and I am hugely grateful to Prince Harry for drawing attention to this ground-breaking therapy.
I now look forward to discussing how EMDR can support your employees, helping them to process trauma, and return to their lives and work feeling ready to face the future.
To arrange a confidential, no-obligation discussion, contact us here.