What are CBT & EMDR?

‘CBT’ stands for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.

This therapy takes a solution focused approach and aims to help you to understand what is keeping a problem going and identify strategies that can help you to change.  

The way that we explore problems in CBT is by looking in detail at what the problem is and identifying patterns of thoughts, feelings, behaviours and how your body reacts physically.  We would work together to change these patterns in order to help you to feel better emotionally.


For example:- waking up at night, feeling anxious and stressed, not able to sleep properly, then feeling irritated during the day, starting to have doubts about yourself and feeling low, or angry, or both.    This shows how you can get into a state where your body is physically exhausted, tired, stressed, but also showing signs of anxiety (feeling on-edge, nervous, worried), and your thoughts are starting to get into patterns of thinking (possibly due to earlier experiences) that are dragging you further down, but due to feeling tired and stressed, it can be hard to ‘see the wood for the trees’.  The angry and irritable feelings can cause difficulties with loved ones, which in turn then creates further difficulties and arguments, and withdrawing, and then you can start to feel low and depressed.  Night-time can be a place where worries start to flourish and this is a pattern of thinking that is quite complex and difficult to get out of.  You may have to avoid going certain places because of anxious and panicky feelings too.


In CBT we would look at these patterns, identify why they are happening, and find ways to change them.  We would draw up a plan together for what you would like us to work on and there are usually tasks to try out.  CBT is an ‘active’ therapy.  We aim to help you to make changes by trying things out based on what we identify together as causing the problems.


These are some good links for finding out a bit more about CBT, but you can also email me if you have any queries.

NHS Choices
BABCP (What is CBT?)


What is EMDR?

‘EMDR’ stands for Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprocessing.

EMDR therapy was created by a Clinical Psychologist called Francine Shapiro.  It is a therapy that aims to help activate our brain’s natural healing processes, to enable us to recover from disturbing events or experiences that are continuing to cause us difficulties in our day-to-day lives.  Unlike traditional talking therapies, EMDR utilises eye movements, or tapping, not just talking, in order to help us to process and heal difficult experiences.  Because of this it is ideal for clients who do not wish to talk about certain events but would still like to try to work through them and process them somehow.  


EMDR is a very effective therapy for traumatic experiences, but it can also help with many other difficulties too eg, performance anxiety, eating disorders, depression, OCD, phobias, panic attacks.  It is very important that you choose a practitioner who has undergone the appropriate training in EMDR.

To find out more about EMDR, see these links below or feel free to email me.

EMDR Association UK and Ireland

How does EMDR work?

CBT and EMDR are BOTH recommended by NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence), as first-line treatments for PTSD and Trauma.  Treatments recommended by NICE have to undergo rigorous and extensive testing before being considered and recommended.  See p14-15 of the NICE Guidelines for PTSD here.