Abergavenny Complementary Practice

Henton House
Monk Street

Tel: 01873 858 020

Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing in Abergavenny

with Wendy Evans

Wendy Evans EMDREye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a psychological therapy for trauma and some other mental health difficulties. At first the therapy was used just to treat traumatic memories (raw and intrusive thoughts, feelings, pictures, sounds, smells, tastes and body sensations) which may develop as a result, for example, of:

An assault, a road traffic accident, an accident at work, a natural disaster like a flood or fire, a ‘not straightforward’ surgical operation/childbirth experience, neglect or bullying in childhood, experiences associated with war or being a refugee.

These days EMDR is also used to treat, amongst other things, depression, addictive behaviours, grief and bereavement, phobias, anxieties of various sorts, and pain. However, probably its most familiar use for the treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

When we are involved in a distressing event we may find ourselves overwhelmed by it. Our minds are unable to process what has happened in the usual way. Instead, what happened to us becomes frozen and is sometimes intensely and repeatedly relived, as if it were happening right now and not a while ago. It has been discovered that alternating right-left stimulation of the brain with eye movements, or some other means, unblocks the system. The distressing events become less intense and less immediate and more like ordinary memories. The process is thought to replicate what happens in our brain during Rapid Eye Movement (REM) Sleep, when our eyes are known to be moving from side to side.

Your therapist will carry out an assessment to make sure that EMDR is suitable for you and for the problems you describe. She will spend some time doing preparatory exercises with you so that you can rapidly deal with any emotional disturbance that may arise during or after a session. These may include breathing retraining or deep muscle relaxation.

The therapist seeks to target the sources of your distress by stimulating the two sides of your brain (its left and right hemispheres). Usually this is done by eye movements. You watch the therapist passing her hand fairly rapidly backwards and forwards across your field of vision, while at the same time she helps you as you recall difficult events from the past. You remain conscious at all times. You are not hypnotised. A lot of importance is attached to giving you a sense of being in control of what happens in the work.

With simpler traumas and distressing events of adult life EMDR can be very rapid in its effects. The average treatment times are from three to five sessions. With more complex traumas, which have stayed with us for longer, or which happened when we were young, EMDR is more likely to be part of a much bigger piece of work which may stretch over a number of months.


About Wendy

Wendy Evans is a counsellor and a EMDR Europe Accredited Practitioner.

Wendy has worked as a therapist in the NHS, in GP practices in and around Abergavenny for the past 15 years. She is an integrative counsellor, with a primary interest in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), and an EMDR Europe Accredited Practitioner. The bulk of her work these days is with EMDR. Wendy is a Registered and Accredited member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, and a member of the EMDR Association, UK and Ireland. Wendy has a Masters Degree in Counselling Studies and a Postgraduate Diploma in Consultative Supervision. She works with individuals – adults and young people – and offers clinical supervision to other therapists.

For enquires, more details and appointments please ring our reception.

You can also visit Wendy’s website at https://sites.google.com/site/wendyevanscounselling/