Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Which treatment is best - EMDR?

Hello again,

We are carrying on the series about which treatments are best to help fear of flying... We get asked this question quite a lot.  We always try to find out what other treatments our clients have tried before we see them.  Or, even after they have seen us as they seek treatment for other fears and phobias.

One of the treatments that has been mentioned occasionally but not often is EMDR - eye movement and desensitisation reprocessing. In normal speak, our understanding...
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When something has happened to you of a traumatic nature, the theory goes that your brain can't cope with it normally. This means a separate area of your head is created where it sits and festers.  The data is so overwhelming the host can't cope with it. Part of the the brain wants to deal with it and gives the host lots of flashbacks which can be frequent or just occur when triggered by a specific smell or noise.  These can seriously limit a person's life and cause them to tailor their life around avoiding or managing the waves of fear and panic - the person literally re-lives it all the time. It would be a bit like have nightmares whilst you are awake. 

EMDR works by going through a process of re-living the painful memories in chunks and then doing certain eye movements. This has been suggested to help the brain re-process the information as it does with any other memory.
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This has been most commonly used with post traumatic stress disorder such as those soldiers who have been in combat or someone that has been seriously assaulted...  In fact, any form of trauma.
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The link with fear of flying? (As we see it)

We don't see an obvious link with the majority of clients that we see.  However, there have been some trials in the EMDR world of helping people with anxiety disorders. So, it remains to be seen whether there will be a growth in this area too...EMDR, as a treatment, has only been around since 1989 so it may become an even bigger player in the future and its help extend beyond where it currently operates.  Who knows...
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Disclaimer:  We are not trained in EMDR.  We have put this article together drawing from sources such as Wiki, Paul 's partner (she is trained in CBT, EMDR, Solution focussed Therapy, Psychodynamic counselling) and what we have learned from running fear of flying courses for over 15 years!

There is one truism/adage that we keep banging on about in this series. It is this:  'There is no best therapy - just the one(s) that work for you!'

Take care

Paul and Richard
Virgin Atlantic Flying Without Fear
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Future Courses
London Luton 26th August
Birmingham 14th October
Manchester 11th November (Both adult and kid’s course)
Gatwick 18th November (Both adult and kid’s course)
Edinburgh 25th November
Southampton 2nd December

London Luton 26th August Special One-Off Refresher course

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Leeds Bradford 13th January 2013
Newcastle 3rd February 2013

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