Trauma-focused psychotherapy in Somerset

About EMDR

What is EMDR?

EMDR, or Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing, is a psychological therapy, first developed in the late 1980's in America. 

Today it is recognised across the world as a powerful remedy with a strong evidence-base supporting excellent results, particularly in treating traumatised individuals.

How does it differ from other talking therapies such as CBT?

EMDR follows a similar treatment protocol to that of CBT, in that a thorough mental health assessment is imperative to ensure that this approach will be beneficial for the individual in question. Following this, a number of sessions of traditional talking therapy are required, to ascertain root problems and events that may be causing current difficulties. It is in this early stages of treatment that your therapist will help you to develop essential self-regulatory skills; these are essentially practical methods for calming the bodily response to upsetting emotions and thoughts.

The key difference between EMDR and CBT is how change is effected in the central part of treatment. CBT is considered to be a top-down approach i.e., change in behaviours and emotions are largely achieved by means of consciously challenging ingrained thinking patterns using specific strategies. EMDR however, is considered to be a bottom-up process where the focus is on accessing unconscious links between memories and beliefs about the self by working with the body.

Is EMDR a physical therapy?

EMDR engages both sides of the brain and allows past events and present beliefs to be fully processed. The goal is to separate any unpleasant tension, pain, or discomfort in the body (perhaps think of this as muscle memory) associated with the past, so that these symptoms and accompanying distressing emotions are no longer linked to present day or future events.

How does EMDR work?

There is a great deal of scientifically sound information regarding EMDR and the process by which the brain can transform our relationship in the here and now to past events. For more information, a helpful site to visit can be found here.

What does treatment involve?

Following an assessment with your therapist and a process of developing adaptive coping strategies for managing unpleasant feelings, EMDR proper begins. This involves focusing on unhelpful current beliefs or negative feelings, such as anxiety or shame, that have a direct link or first appeared at a particular time in the past. Your therapist will ensure that you feel completely safe and fully supported when revisiting painful memories or touching on uncomfortable feelings.

Whilst maintaining a focus on the above, your therapist will help you to activate both sides of your brain, which is essential for this treatment to be effective. They will typically do this by asking you to follow their fingers or a pencil with your eyes as this is gently moved from side to side. For individuals who find this movement difficult to follow, your therapist may suggest wearing headphones during the process where a small audible tone will play in sequence between alternate ears.

Treatment goals

Like all psychological therapies, the goal is to alleviate unnecessary suffering and enable the client to live as full a life as possible with minimal distress.

With EMDR in particular, depending on the client's individual situation, a common goal is to be able to revisit particular memories, that once evoked feelings very much as intense as they were at the time of event, without feeling any intense emotions or physical tension. 

Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing
Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing


Additional Information

You should normally only request emdr trauma therapy if you can travel to the practice in Wincanton for treatment sessions. A formal diagnosis of PTSD is not essential. You can be referred for treatment by a consultant or other specialist, or by your GP, or you can simply refer yourself. If you are being referred by another professional (a GP, consultant or another specialist), give the other professional Vicki Ritson’s e-mail address and telephone number. For these contact details, please click here.

Paying for your treatment

Vicki Ritson only provides private treatment. She does not currently provide any NHS treatment. 

If you have private medical insurance, then your insurance might cover the cost of your treatment or part of the cost. Contact your insurer before you are referred for treatment. Some insurers have conditions that you must satisfy. For example, some insurers require you to be referred by a consultant. Your insurer usually gives you a case number or authorisation number for your treatment.

You might have other sources of funding for your treatment. For example, your employer or an NHS trust might agree to fund your treatment. In this case, ensure that you have a source of funding before you are referred for treatment. There might be conditions that you must satisfy.


Mental health assessment (60 minutes) - £60.00

EMDR treatment session (60 - 75 minutes) - £60.00

Concessionary fees, for the unemployed or those in receipt of DLA:

Mental health assessment (60 minutes) - £45.00

EMDR treatment session (60 - 75 minutes) - £45.00