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Exploring Group EMDR

Updated: Nov 25, 2022

Past traumatic experience often leads to the struggle with painful emotions such as anger, grief, shame, helplessness and loneliness. Although the event(s) may have happened long ago, the experience seems vivid and affects self-esteem and the current relationship. Some signs that the past trauma may still hinder you include, but are not limited to:

  • Frequently feeling unsafe

  • Intense anxiety

  • Intense bodily reaction

  • Feeling hopeless or worthless

  • Difficulty managing your emotions

Healing the trauma is essential for a better sense of self-worth and secure attachment. Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a well-known psychotherapy treatment for trauma. The Adaptive Information Processing Model posits that EMDR therapy facilitates the accessing and processing traumatic memories and other adverse life experiences to bring these to an adaptive resolution. EMDR has research validated as effective psychotherapy to decrease the onset of anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that are associated with trauma.

During EMDR processing, an EMDR therapist helps their client find a new neural pathway associated with traumatic memories through guided bilateral eye movements. Over time, the heavy emotional toll that the memories hold decreases and become less psychologically disturbing. The trauma survivor can remember the event without intense or distressing reactions. While typically done in a one-to-one setting with an EMDR therapist, there is also a group EMDR. The group EMDR holds a similar goal as the individual EMDR session, which is to reduce the emotional distress associated with traumatic past experiences and memories.

Similar to the individual session, the group EMDR session will focus on grounding and stabilization skills in its initial session. The facilitator helps to process the disturbances related to the traumatic memory. The facilitator helps the participant activate the brain's natural healing process using bilateral stimulation or eye movement. Due to time constraints and to protect the participant's privacy, the participants will only briefly share the traumatic materials they bring to the session.

Group EMDR sessions consist of about 5 to 10 sessions with a maximum of 8 participants. As in any group therapy, group EMDR sessions may provide a support network in overcoming a challenging experience. However, there is a limitation in the depth of the processing, so participants who presented issues beyond the scope of the group sessions will be encouraged to seek individual therapy.

Restoring Peace Counselling and Consultancy provides counselling and psychotherapy for children, individuals, couples, and families. The next group EMDR sessions will be held sometime in January 2023. For more information, please visit or WhatsApp at +65 8889 1848.

Keywords: Singapore, private mental health clinic, psychological services near me, therapy, counselling, therapist, counsellor, EMDR, group, trauma, PTSD, stress, anxiety

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