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Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR)

Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy in London

At Schoen Clinic Chelsea, we are proud to offer specialised Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing therapy, commonly known as EMDR therapy.

EMDR is a powerful mental health treatment method dedicated to addressing conditions stemming from traumatic memories in your past.

scrabble letters on an orange background that reads "EMDR Therapy"

What is EMDR therapy?

EMDR therapy involves recalling distressing past experiences and "reprogramming" these memories with a new, positive perspective. This transformation is facilitated through rapid eye movements, which play a pivotal role in the process. While the precise mechanisms behind EMDR's effectiveness are continuously evolving, it has proven immensely beneficial for many individuals.

Drawing from cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), EMDR integrates eye movements or other rhythmic, left-right stimulations. A fundamental aspect of EMDR is 'dual stimulation.' Throughout the treatment, you engage in recalling memories, triggers, and distressing emotions connected to your trauma or condition, simultaneously focusing on your therapist's moving finger within your field of vision.

While the therapist's finger is a common tool, EMDR therapy may also employ various external stimuli. These alternative stimuli can include tactile sensations such as alternating hand taps or auditory cues like a moving chime from ear to ear.

While it is widely recognised for its effectiveness in treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), its applications have extended to encompass the treatment of a wide range of mental health conditions. At Schoen Clinic Chelsea, our team of EMDR therapy specialists is here to provide you with expert care and support.

Who can benefit from EMDR therapy?

EMDR therapy can be beneficial for adolescents, teenagers and adults of all ages dealing with various conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, phobias, and other trauma-related issues.

EMDR therapy can help with:

It's particularly helpful for those seeking relief from distressing memories or emotional disturbances stemming from past traumatic experiences. EMDR can benefit anyone looking to process and reframe memories that cause psychological distress.

To get started with private treatment, simply fill out our online pre-screening questionnaire any time to suit you.

finger on a smart phone touch screen

Get in touch with our private mental health clinic in London if you'd like to begin EMDR therapy with one of our specialists

If you're looking for EMDR therapy in London, please reach out to our caring team today. We have appointments available in as little as 24 hours so you can begin treatment with minimal wait.

To access private treatment as swiftly as possible, simply fill out our online pre-screening questionnaire at any time to suit you.

How much does EMDR therapy cost?

The cost of different types of treatment, therapy or support will vary. See our full breakdown of our prices and funding options for more information or specific costs.

How EMDR therapy works at Schoen Clinic in London

During a traumatic event, intense emotions can disrupt the complete processing of that experience, causing it to become 'frozen in time.' Recalling such events might feel like reliving them as the sensory details remain vivid and easily triggered in the present moment.

These triggered memories can significantly disrupt daily life, altering self-perception, worldview, and relationships. EMDR therapy appears to directly impact the brain, aiding in 'unfreezing' these traumatic memories, and enabling resolution.

At Schoen Clinic Chelsea, our approach to EMDR therapy involves a personalised method tailored to each individual's needs.

Our specialised EMDR sessions guide patients through revisiting and reprocessing distressing memories. Using a combination of therapeutic techniques, including bilateral stimulation and cognitive behavioural elements, our trained specialists assist in addressing and reframing traumatic experiences.

We incorporate a range of stimuli, from eye movements to alternative sensory inputs, aiming to help individuals process and alleviate the emotional burden linked to past trauma or distressing events.

With time and EMDR therapy, individuals can progressively work through these distressing memories and associated feelings. Eventually, they can recall the event without reliving the intense emotional impact, allowing the memory to remain but with reduced distress.

Pros and cons of EMDR therapy


  • Proven effectiveness: EMDR therapy is supported by numerous studies demonstrating its effectiveness.

  • Quicker results: EMDR often yields faster results compared to other therapies, allowing individuals to see improvements sooner.

  • Minimal homework: EMDR typically requires less homework outside of sessions, usually involving only the documentation of thoughts or ideas to discuss at the next appointment.

  • Reduced stress: EMDR focuses on processing and moving beyond trauma, making it generally less stressful than other methods that may involve recounting and reliving negative experiences.


  • Limited applicability: EMDR is most effective for conditions related to traumatic experiences. It may not be as helpful for mental health issues stemming from inherited conditions, injuries, or physical brain effects.

  • Theoretical understanding: The precise mechanism behind EMDR remains a theoretical mystery, even though it has been empirically proven to work.

  • Relative newness: EMDR was introduced in 1989, making it a relatively newer therapy compared to others with longer histories. Further research is needed to determine its long-term effectiveness and whether additional therapy may be required years or decades later.

We understand that seeking therapy is a significant step, and we are here to guide you every step of the way.

To get started with private treatment, simply fill out our online pre-screening questionnaire any time to suit you.

What does EMDR therapy involve at Schoen Clinic Chelsea?

EMDR therapy involves eight distinct phases that unfold across multiple sessions. Occasionally, one session might encompass elements from various phases. For instance, the initial sessions commonly focus on phases 1 and 2, while subsequent sessions delve into phases 3 through 8.

For a singular distressing event or memory, the therapy typically spans three to six sessions. However, more intricate or prolonged traumas may necessitate eight to 12 sessions or potentially more. Each session typically spans an hour. The 8 phases of EMDR therapy are:

Phase 1: History Taking In this phase, your therapist will gather information about your history and current concerns to understand your unique situation and identify target areas for treatment.

Phase 2: Preparation Your therapist will then explain the EMDR process, discuss coping techniques, and establish a strong therapeutic relationship to ensure you feel ready and supported throughout the sessions.

Phase 3: Assessment Together with your therapist, you will pinpoint specific memories or targets to focus on during the EMDR sessions. These could be distressing or traumatic events to process.

Phase 4: Desensitisation and reprogramming This stage involves recalling targeted memories while simultaneously experiencing bilateral stimulation. This process aids in reprocessing the distress associated with the memories.

Phase 5: Installation Here, positive beliefs and emotions are reinforced to replace negative emotions linked to the targeted memories, promoting resilience and strength.

Phase 6: Body Scan Your therapist helps you become more attuned to your body, ensuring that any residual tension or discomfort related to the targeted memories is addressed.

Phase 7: Closure The session ends by ensuring you're stable and emotionally regulated. Techniques are provided to manage any lingering distress between sessions.

Phase 8: Reevaluation In subsequent sessions, the therapist reviews progress and assesses any remaining distress, ensuring that the targeted memories are processed and integrated effectively.

Is EMDR likely to be effective for me?

EMDR therapy offers a unique approach to addressing traumatic experiences without the need to extensively discuss or analyse the events in great detail, setting it apart from many traditional 'talk' therapies.

By concurrently engaging your mind, body, and emotions, EMDR facilitates a transformative process, often shifting from a mere intellectual understanding of the problem's origin to a resolution where post-traumatic symptoms diminish.

This therapy approach involves brief re-experiencing of the trauma during treatment, allowing the reprocessing to happen simultaneously with memory recall. The success of EMDR lies in its ability to efficiently target and resolve distressing memories, offering relief to individuals dealing with trauma-related issues.

However, it's essential to recognise that while EMDR has been effective for many, it might not be suitable for everyone. The focus of EMDR on intensely stressful subjects means it may not align with everyone's needs or preferences.

Additionally, individuals with certain health conditions, such as pregnancy, heart issues, eye problems, or other medical concerns, should consult their doctor before commencing EMDR therapy to ensure it's safe and appropriate for them.

Schoen Clinic has dedicated EMDR facilities in the heart of Chelsea, London

Schoen Clinic proudly hosts dedicated EMDR facilities situated in the heart of Chelsea, London, offering a convenient and accessible location for comprehensive therapeutic care. Our state-of-the-art facilities are thoughtfully equipped to provide an optimal environment for EMDR therapy, fostering a comfortable and supportive setting conducive to healing.

Have questions about EMDR therapy?

We've covered the essentials of EMDR therapy at Schoen Clinic Chelsea, but we understand that you may have specific questions or unique concerns.

If there's anything we haven't addressed on this page, please don't hesitate to reach out to our dedicated team. No matter how complex or unusual your questions may be, we're here to help.

Meet our London-based expert EMDR specialists

At Schoen Clinic Chelsea, our EMDR specialists offer expert support to help you overcome life's challenges and achieve lasting emotional balance.

Dr Edel McAndrew

Consultant Clinical Psychologist

Dr Edel McAndrew

Emma Johnson

Principle Systemic Family Psychotherapist

Emma Johnson

Dr Lorena Dumitrache

Chartered Clinical Psychologist

Dr Lorena Dumitrache
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