How rerouting neural pathways with EMDR can help improve your mental wellbeing

Imagine having an emotional splinter in your mind. Just as a physical splinter causes an infection if left untreated, this emotional splinter can cause psychological discomfort. So, if something from your past is causing suffering in the present, trying EMDR could help you...

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I’ve written about mental health a lot on my blog. It’s a topic that I feel is very important and it seems to go hand-in-hand with money management. Often personal finances can have an effect on your mental wellbeing and vice versa, so it’s as important to take care of your wellbeing as it is to keep an eye on your finances.

I’m currently studying a course in psychology and CBT, so I’m learning more and more about the topic every week. I find it fascinating that there are so many techniques out there that can help people process their feelings and improve their quality of life.

In the 1980s, American psychologist Francine Shapiro made a discovery somewhat accidentally when she noticed that moving her eyes in a certain way seemed to reduce the distress associated with traumatic memories. This led Shapiro to further research and she eventually formulated EMDR as a structured therapy for processing traumatic experiences.

EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, and it is an innovative psychotherapy method. While it is primarily used to treat trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder, it can also be used for some other psychological problems, such as depression, anxiety, OCD and more.

It’s not a self-help process – during EMDR therapy, a therapist guides your eye movements while you recall distressing situations. These guided eye movements serve a purpose. They are designed to distract you from the upsetting memory and create a safe distance between you and the trauma.

Some therapists may use hand-tapping, auditory tones or might wave a hand or finger in front of your eyes to guide your eye movements. As a result of the EMDR process, the painful memory loses its intensity over time. In other words, healing through EMDR helps remove those ’emotional splinters’ so that relief can begin.

Anxiety Disorders

EMDR may significantly benefit individuals dealing with anxiety disorders like panic attacks or phobias. EMDR works on reprocessing distressing memories related to these experiences, helping reduce recurrent anxiety responses.


EMDR is particularly beneficial for those suffering from PTSD because it helps individuals re-process traumatic experiences, changing the way these events are stored in the brain. Flashbacks or bad dreams often reduce following treatment.


EMDR is beginning to gain recognition for its potential in treating depression. It might address unresolved traumatic memories that contribute to depressive symptoms; allowing individuals to process these incidents and reduce their negative impact.


While different therapies have been used to successfully treat Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, EMDR is emerging as another promising option. When OCD results from trauma, as it often does, EMDR for OCD can be beneficial as it helps sufferers to get to the root cause of the problem.

Now that you know more about how EMDR works and the conditions it can treat, you may be wondering whether the therapy is the right option for you.

If you’re dealing with an issue that stems from disturbing life experiences EMDR might provide relief by helping you reprocess these memories -BUT this technique is not a self-help option. You should consult a mental health professional to evaluate whether EMDR is a suitable option for you based on your symptoms and history and perhaps have a trial session to see how you feel.

Be sure to check out my other articles from my Wellbeing category to find out if there are any small changes you can make that’ll make you feel better or bring you some relief.

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Cassie is a freelance writer with a Masters degree in Lifestyle Promotion Studies and is trained in Personal Money Management. She loves to ‘get the look for less’ so regularly shares thrifty-living advice, DIY interior design ideas and low-cost recipes on her blog.

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