For EMDR therapy to be successful, you must be able to handle whatever emotions are associated to the distressing memory. Images, thoughts, emotions and physical sensations may be brought to consciousness during EMDR.
If you have a background of severe abuse, it may be some time before you feel safe enough to tolerate the high levels of distress that may arise during or between EMDR sessions. You will be taught self-regulation techniques and will need to be competent in the use of these before moving on to the desensitising/reprocessing phase of the EMDR Protocol.
EMDR may not be suitable for people who:
- Have difficulty managing high levels of stress or anxiety
- Are taking Diazepam or other benzodiazapines
- Are actively abusing a substance
- Are involved in self-harm
- Are currently in an abusive relationship
- Diagnosed with a dissociative disorder
- Experience uncontrolled flashbacks
- Have a heart condition
- Are pregnant