What is EMDR and How It Can Help You

by | May 18, 2020 | Anxiety, Articles, Counselling, Depression, EMDR Therapy, Mental Health

-Do people treat you badly and get away with it?
-Does it feel you’ve never done enough even though you’re trying as hard as you can?
-Are you working too hard with no time to enjoy yourself?
-Does something stop you from saying what you really want to say and doing what you really want to do?

If your answer to any of these questions is Yes, it’s time to find out what is EMDR and how it can help you.

EMDR – Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing – is an effective therapy based on the understanding that the way we respond to life in the present is determined by what’s happened to us in the past. This may not sound new but EMDR does offer something different. This therapy can result in significant changes much more quickly than traditional counselling you may have tried.

Past Events Affect Our Present Life

Past events that have a major negative impact on our lives may be referred to as traumas. EMDR recognises that it doesn’t matter whether we have survived a ‘big T’ or ‘little t’ trauma’, they can still affect us. Big T trauma can be something like a life-threatening car accident and a ‘small t’ trauma could be not receiving the emotional support we needed as a child. The important point is a traumatic experience teaches us a ‘story’ about ourselves that becomes subconscious. This can then strongly influence the way we live and experience life.

The good news is, if you’re not happy with the way you live – you may feel sad, depressed, anxious, or angry a lot of the time – EMDR can help you. EMDR therapy helps you first identify your ‘stories’ and then change them. You can then live a more authentic life.

Here’s how one of my clients describes it:

‘EMDR has really surprised me. I’ve learned what my psychological stories are and how they came about. As EMDR helps me see these stories for what they are, they lose their emotional grip. It’s amazing how quickly it happens with Honni’s careful guidance and support. I can feel my current experience of life changing in really important ways. I’m more confident, I feel free and I’m excited about my future for the first time in years.’

‘Big T’ and ‘small T’ trauma

An example of ‘big T’ trauma is a young soldier’s terrifying experiences during active service, resulting in a story like ‘I’m never safe’. An example of ‘small T’ trauma is a professional woman’s experiences growing up in a home where nothing she did was ever good enough, resulting in a story like ‘I’m a failure’. Long after a (big T or small T) traumatic experience is over, a person’s subconscious story will impact all aspects of their life without them realising it.

This means that for the returned soldier and professional woman, the story ‘I’m never safe’ or ‘I’m a failure’ will influence their choice of career and partners. It will determine their self-worth and confidence as well as impact their ability to establish healthy boundaries with family, friends and colleagues. As a result, the story will affect their overall wellbeing and, ultimately, their happiness and quality of life.

EMDR Helps You Rewrite Your Unhelpful Stories

EMDR therapy helps you discover your unhelpful stories and rewrite them. This then frees you to live the life you want. EMDR is widely used for a range of issues everyday people are dealing with. These include anxiety, depression, substance abuse, anger, disturbing memories and more.

The small T trauma behind issues like these include peers saying you are fat, a toxic boyfriend, living with domestic violence, being raised by a distant mother, experiences of sexual abuse, surviving bullying, experiencing infertility, job loss, an accident, traumatic birth and more.

EMDR focuses on the story we tell ourselves as a result of our trauma. For example, ‘I’m ugly’, ‘I’m weak’, ‘No-one cares about me’, ‘I deserve bad things’, ‘I’m unlovable’, ‘I’m dirty’, ‘I’m not a real woman’ and so on.

What might be your story? How could it have influenced your life?
Your next step…

To find out how EMDR actually works, read my blog “EMDR- How Does It Work? 

You can read about the EMDR therapy I provide here.

You can also read Georgia’s Story and how EMDR with Honni Hayton Counselling helped her rebuild her life after a relationship breakup.

Click here to watch a short animation video that further explains EMDR.

If you are interested in finding out more about how EMDR can help you or a family member, please get in touch for a confidential discussion. Call me on 0419 641 805 or email contact@honnihaytoncounselling.com.au


Honni Hayton Counsellor

About Honni Hayton

A qualified, practicing counsellor, Honni Hayton has been helping people live their best life for over 20 years. She specialises in providing women’s counselling services, both in person and online. She also provides relationship counselling to help couples find happiness again.