Eye Movement Therapies help significantly in overcoming traumas which includes anxiety, PTSD, panic attacks and more. They fall into three main systems, as outlined below, and have a common thread. They have become so effective there are NHS NICE guidelines supporting the use of Eye Movement Therapy. Some approaches are more cumbersome than others and you can even see examples on YouTube!
Luckily our approach is simple and effective, so much so that it can take as little as one session, and it lasts.....
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Here is an outline of the three main systems of Eye Movement Therapy.
What is EMDR therapy?
EMDR is an acronym for 'Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing'. EMDR is a powerful psychological treatment method that was developed by an American clinical psychologist, Dr Francine Shapiro, in the late 1980s early 90s. As a Senior Research Fellow at the Mental Research Institute, she published the first research data to support the benefits of the therapy in 1989. Since then a wealth of research has been conducted demonstrating its benefits in treating psychological trauma arising from experiences as diverse as war related experiences, childhood sexual and/or physical abuse or neglect, natural disaster, assault, surgical trauma, road traffic accidents and workplace accidents. Since its original development, EMDR is also increasingly used to help individuals with other issues including performance anxiety. EMDR has been found to be of benefit to children as well as adults.
What is EMI therapy?
Movement Integration (EMI) was developed by Connirae and Steve Andreas
in 1989 to treat traumatic memories. For most people the therapeutic use
of eye movements is associated not with NLP but with Francine Shapiro's
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). That method,
though, favors rapid lateral movements while EMI uses much slower
movements designed to connect all the eye positions. The importance of
connecting all eye positions is based on the NLP theory that the various
movements of the eyes access different sensory systems and, therefore,
different areas of neurology. Added to this is the EMI assumption that a
traumatic experience remains unintegrated in a person's life precisely
because it is isolated, both in their neurology and in their thinking.
The principle behind EMI is that "all the relevant multisensory
dimensions" are required for full integration of the disturbing
experience and thus the aim of the eye movements is to create "new
linkages between different types of sensory, affective, or cognitive
information." The result does not extinguish the memory of what happened
but it does strip off the emotional charge that was causing all the
What is IEM Therapy?
Integral Eye Movement Technique (IEMT)
is a developing area of brief change work process that explores the
area of undesired emotions and ways of being. The process and algorithms
of the technique explores the question, "How did the client learn to
feel this way about that thing?" and opens up the possibility of creating the appropriate change within the client's model of the world. This is Andrew Austin's
take on the work of Connirae and Steve Andreas and EMI. I believe this
to currently be the most straight forward and effective approach; I have
applied it highly effectively many times with clients and continue to
What is the common thread?
(neuro-linguistic programming) noticed early on in its development that
we, as human-beings, all store information (map our reality) spatially
using eye movements. To test this for yourself visualise yourself doing
something you like to do and notice how your eyes move to access this
The above mentioned approaches use this knowledge to reorder information storage and remove emotional attachments to PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder), anxiety, fears etc. When a client/patient undergoes Eye Movement Therapy it is amazing to see them try to find the problem and emotional attachment afterwards; they look around as if searching for the memory/emotion attachment but it is just no longer there!