Please note, various media coverage is shown here in order to share with you many different people’s experiences of EMDR treatment. For authoritative descriptions and definitions of the therapy please return to this site as the EMDR Association UK is not responsible for third party content.
A therapist describes why her initial scepticism about EMDR changed to conviction, and gives readers five key pointers about the therapy in Psychology Today:
This Attitude Magazine article by leading therapist Rebecca Case provides a simple description of EMDR therapy and who it can help:
In this Radio 4 Series ‘The Madness’, journalist Fergal Keane reads from his memoir about his struggle with PTSD, haunted by the horrors he bore witness to in Rwanda in 2008. In this episode he talks about his experience of having EMDR therapy (at 05:40 minutes):
Men’s Health magazine takes up the theme of trauma, and describes a range of trauma therapies including EMDR:
As Miley Cyrus says EMDR helped her heal from traumatic experiences, EMDR UK member Sanja Oakley answers questions about the therapy in this article for British Vogue.
Comedian and performer Ruby Wax recently diarised her experience of having EMDR therapy as part of her treatment as an inpatient, in her new book ‘I’m not as Well as I thought I Was’. You can read an extract here:
This article in Health News provides a simple description of the different phases of EMDR therapy:
Marie Claire magazine looks at how EMDR therapy is helping women deal with postpartum depression, anxiety and other perinatal mental health issues.
In this article for Harpers Bazaar, writer Hannah Fox describes how through EMDR therapy she finally recovered from complex PTSD.
EMDR therapy was at the heart of Radio 4 play written by Eileen Horne, with EMDR UK member Dr Martha Ferrito credited as consultant.
Here’s the synopsis:
“Can past trauma rediscovered via EMDR therapy provide the key to Isla’s state of mind? Isla and Marcus escape apparently unhurt from a car accident. Marcus bounces back but Isla remains disturbed by the incident. She turns to EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing) specialist Bill Shepherd to discover if a “landmine” of past trauma could hold the key.”
TV presenter Sophie Morgan was paralysed from the chest down at the age of 18 following a car crash. She is now having EMDR after managing without therapy for many years, despite suffering from PTSD.
Dr Robin Logie was interviewed about EMDR therapy for author Horatio Clare’s fascinating new series on BBC Radio 4, ‘Is Psychiatry Working?’ Listen here: (18:24 minutes into the programme)
Although one in three women describe giving birth as traumatic, medics typically define birth issues through physical rather than psychological injuries. This article is a clear, simple introduction to birth trauma and recommends EMDR therapy for those who experience mental health issues during pregnancy, birth or postpartum.
This amazing little girl survived the shooting at her school in Uvade, Texas in May 2022, and is now an advocate for changes to gun laws in the US. This article describes how it took a long time for her PTSD to be diagnosed and to finally find help with EMDR therapy.
Whilst trauma has been well-studied in relation to post-traumatic stress disorder, there has never been a review to systematically test whether it is a risk factor for a range of mental disorders like depression and anxiety. Benedikt Amann and his team conducted the first such review, including 14 meta-analyses and a total of 106 studies, involving 16,277 psychiatric cases and 77,586 control subjects. He says “…our work underlines that psychological trauma is one of the most robust and preventable risk factors for suffering a mental disorder later on.”
BBC Radio 4 ‘Woman’s Hour’ dedicated a programme to the issue of stalking, marking ten years on from a change in the law. TV presenter Isla Traquair, is interviewed about her traumatic ordeal with a neighbour which led to her suffering from PTSD. She mentions that she recently started having EMDR therapy for this. Her interview starts at around 31:50 into the programme.
In this Guardian newspaper column on mental health, a man who says he has a loving wife and child, but doesn’t want to exist, is given advice which includes how EMDR therapy might help him:
Article about celebrities who are choosing to have EMDR therapy, and an exploration of the therapy and its effectiveness:
‘Eye Movements Could be the Missing Link in Our Understanding of Memory’: this article in Neuroscience News is by the authors of a new study published by the Royal Society. It reveals that ‘…the replay of a sequence of eye movements helps boost memory reconstruction.’ They also theorise about the implications of this research for understanding the underlying mechanisms in EMDR therapy.
This comprehensive ‘what to expect’ article explains how EMDR therapy is different to talking therapies. It can be helpful not only for PTSD but for many issues from panic attacks to depression, and for all age groups.
A fascinating take on ‘How and Why EMDR Works’ in Psychology Today from philosopher Bence Nanay. Based at Antwerp and Cambridge Universities, he holds a major grant to work on integrating philosophy, psychology and neuroscience.
The Irish Sun reported on the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder and named EMDR as one of the two main treatments.
A documentary about war reporter Fergal Keane who suffers from PTSD was broadcast on BBC2 on 9th May 2022. He meets with his EMDR therapist to whom he says “I think you helped to save my life,” and broadcasts part of a session, (starting 34:38 into the programme).
This article to mark Mental Health Awareness Week is about celebrities being open about their mental health issues. Prince Harry had EMDR therapy to help him deal with the trauma of grief.
This article on website Psychcentral looks at PTSD, and how neuroplasticity and EMDR work to heal childhood trauma.
On ‘Room 5’, BBC Radio 4, Helena Merriman interviewed journalist Gavanndra Hodge, who supressed traumatic memories of her sister’s death for more than 20 years. She talks in detail about how EMDR helped her process those memories, and her therapist is also interviewed. The part about EMDR therapy begins at 12:59 into the programme. (There are more media links about Gavanndra Hodge and her book The Consequences of Love lower down this page.)
Dawn of Ashes, an Industrial Mental band from Los Angeles, has released a new single entitled ‘EMDR’ written by lead singer Kristof Bathory, inspired by his experience of having EMDR therapy.
Sandra Bullock has spoken about having EMDR therapy to help her with extreme anxiety following a series of stressful events: she was bitten by a poisonous spider, her son suffered from a grand mal seizure, and a fixated fan broke into her home. The stress and PTSD also caused her to suffer from alopecia
Sandra was interviewed on the US programme Red Table Talk (00:20:08 into podcast) , and there was further coverage in the Daily Mail, Instyle Magazine, Access Online, Page Six , Entertainment Tonight , Insider, Self magazine, and YahooNews.
The Guardian’s problem page author, Philippa Perry gives advice to a woman whose mother was unable to take responsibility for failing to protect her daughter from the risk of sexual abuse when she was a child. The assaults led the woman to suffer from PTSD. Her mum’s denial of her part, and insistence on having been a good mother, was so painful, her daughter felt she had no alternative but to cut off communication. Philippa advises showing the mother the letter and response. Readers were advised to contact the EMDR Association UK for trauma therapy advice.
The Body Keeps the Score, a best-seller exploring trauma, became even more popular during the pandemic. Guardian journalist Zoe Williams explores why and interviews the author Dr Bessel van der Kolk. Trained in EMDR, van der Kolk’s book includes a fascinating chapter on the therapy.
The links below contain details of traumatic events that some readers may find upsetting.
Writer and former deputy editor of Tatler magazine, Gavanndra Hodge, was interviewed on Radio 4’s Saturday Live about supressing her grief when her younger sister Candy died suddenly at the age of 9 when Cassandra was 14 years old. They’d had an unconventional and chaotic upbringing with a father who was a hairdresser and drug dealer to the Chelsea upper classes. As an adult Gavandra turned to EMDR therapy to help her process her trauma and grief.
Her interview begins at 47:47 into the programme.
Gavanndra was also interviewed by several newspapers when her autobiography ‘The Consequences of Love’ was first published. This article in the Daily Mail includes a description of how EMDR therapy helped her.
During an interview on Red Table Talk, Paris Jackson talked to Willow Smith about having EMDR for her Post-traumatic stress disorder. Yahoo News includes a link to that interview, and the article also explores EMDR therapy, interviewing three therapists who say it is very positive that Prince Harry and other celebrities are talking about the treatment.
Referring to Prince Harry’s disclosure that he’d had EMDR to process the death of his mother, writer and teacher Christina Wyman describes her own experience of EMDR. She credits the therapy with saving her life and says she understands, like Prince Harry, the consequences of being parented by those with unresolved traumas of their own.
EMDR therapist Claire van der Bosch appeared on Channel 4’s Steph’s Packed Lunch together with her client Louise Graham, to talk about the therapy, following the publicity about Prince Harry having EMDR. During the interview Claire also demonstrated with the programme’s presenters and guests how during EMDR therapy clients are taught how to install a safe place in their minds, which involves using a butterfly tap.
To access the clip you can register with Channel 4 free of charge. The EMDR interview is on Tuesday 8 June coming at 14.04 into the programme.
As part of a new Apple TV series (‘The Me You Can’t See’) exploring mental health issues and treatments, Prince Harry is filmed during the course of an EMDR therapy session.
Kate Garraway has had the same EMDR therapy as Prince Harry for ‘traumatic events’
A feature in The Daily Telegraph explores EMDR including an interview with EMDR UK President Michael O’Connor and a head teacher who benefitted from the therapy.
The Independent reports how EMDR changed one woman’s life after the death of her mother.
The acclaimed travel and nature writer Horatio Clare suffered a mental breakdown in 2018 experiencing psychotic episodes and mania. In his new book ‘Heavy Light’, he describes the experience, how he was able to come off medication and how EMDR helped him in the healing process.
Horatio Clare on Financial Times Radio (see above for introduction)
EMDR Association President Elect Matt Wesson was interviewed by presenter Mariella Frostrup for The Times Radio about EMDR and how it works. The interview starts at 02.05:40 into the programme which was broadcast on 10 March.
Horatio Clare interviewed in the Evening Standard (see above for introduction).
An article about vaginismus suggests EMDR can be particularly helpful for the condition.
EMDR helped a woman suffering from endometriosis start listening to her body and learn to be kind to herself.
Jameela Jamil says EMDR helped her to overcome her eating disorder.
Former president of the EMDR Association, Dr Derek Farrell, has been awarded an MBE for services to Psychology. Dr Farrell played a major part in establishing EMDR therapy in the UK and Ireland and is well known in the field internationally, setting up EMDR training in war-torn countries and those affected by national disasters. Closer to home, he continues to work with survivors of the Hillsborough Disaster and Grenfell. An academic at the University of Worcester, Dr Farrell established the first EMDR Therapy MSc course in the UK. Read more about Dr Farrell’s outstanding achievements and his own fascinating professional insights in this BBC Shropshire report.
The recently released ‘Huracán’ film about a martial arts fighter suffering from multiple personality disorder, aims to raise awareness of EMDR therapy, says its director Cassius Corrigan who places EMDR treatment sessions at the heart of the film:
Matt Wesson, President Elect of the EMDR Association UK talks about the impact of Covid-19 on people’s mental health, the success of delivering EMDR online and its benefits during the pandemic and beyond:
Whilst a member of the Royal Ulster Constabulary in the early 1980s, Michael Patterson lost both his arms in an IRA bomb. He was only 22 years old and had just got married. Michael gradually rebuilt his life, went back into education, and is now a distinguished EMDR Europe Accredited Senior Trainer based in Northern Ireland, awarded an OBE for his achievements. He and his wife tell the story of what happened to Michael and how he survived, with some fascinating psychological insights, for BBC1’s Critical Incident series (starting at 2:04 into the programme and resuming at 31:49):
An excellent, in-depth description of EMDR on Youtube by Heather Cuffe, EMDR practitioner and Trauma Clinical Lead for an NHS Trust. Heather is being interviewed by a tinnitus expert in Australia researching trauma therapy, as trauma can affect or cause the onset of tinnitus.
A journalist who suffered from trauma as a result of childhood domestic violence began EMDR during lockdown and found the results were profound. The article includes quotes from EMDR Association Consultant Sandi Richman and some background to the history of the therapy.
EMDR Consultant Justin Havens answered questions and discussed a wide range of trauma-related mental health issues on Talk Radio, including post-traumatic stress disorder and how it’s little known that a range of more ‘ordinary’ things such as bullying can cause it; a question about childhood sexual abuse and the need to find the right kind of trauma therapy; and the impact of coronavirus and lockdown. He also gave advice to a father whose teenage daughter had recently been through a very traumatic experience – a shooting in a shopping mall in the US – and didn’t want to talk about it.
A comprehensive article about EMDR, how it works and who it can help in Psychology Today:
EMDR helps to cultivate internal resilience, as a woman who suffered trauma after several car accidents describes in a New York Times series about resilience in troubled times. She says “EMDR is a great resource during the pandemic which is both an external and an internal crisis.”
In partnership with the EMDR Association, the charity Trauma Response Network has 300 volunteers EMDR therapists offering free therapy online in response to the Covid-19 outbreak. NHS and key workers are being prioritised, but it is open to anyone severely traumatised by the pandemic. Sean Gardner, a businessman caught up in the Manchester Arena bombing founded Trauma Response Network together with EMDR therapists, to provide ‘mental health first aid’ in the aftermath of a mass trauma event. There are links to Manchester Evening News and Daily Mail.
A woman describes how EMDR helped her on the road to recovery from PTSD caused by the violence she suffered as a very young child growing up in the Ukraine.
A Canadian journalist describes how effective she found EMDR for the issues she was dealing with, and gives some background to the therapy.
Medical TV series ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ takes EMDR as a storyline: the writer and producer gives an interview to explain why.
A programme about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder on Radio 4’s You and Yours highlights that EMDR is a first line treatment and includes several calls from listeners who benefited from the therapy.
Experimental musician Nina Keith’s debut album was inspired by her experience of EMDR therapy:
A new video is launched about EMDR Therapy by the EMDR International Association. A great introduction to the what and why of this amazing therapy.
A woman trapped in the doors of a train travelling at high speed, recovered from the lasting trauma of this experience with EMDR. Read her story in The Guardian:
A woman suffering from PTSD following the birth of her baby was able to recover with the help of EMDR
Article in the Guardian about mental health support for homeless people which mentions EMDR.
The founder of EMDR therapy, Francine Shapiro, died on 16th June 2019.
A young woman found EMDR helped her cope with the trauma of losing both her brothers to suicide in the same year.
Russell Brand interviewed Jameela Jamil about how EMDR helped her manage childhood trauma. (If you are offended by swearing please be warned in advance that there is some during this interview).
Natasha Kaplinsky, the former BBC newsreader, talks about how she had EMDR to help her cope with the trauma of having been with her family on a boat which exploded in flames, injuring her and her daughter.
Actress Evan Rachel Wood talks about how EMDR is helping her cope with traumatic experiences. Please note that she says the therapy is only available for people who can afford to pay, as she lives in the USA, but in the UK it is available on the NHS..
EMDR trainer and therapist, Gus Murray, appeared on RTE Today with Maura and Daithi to talk about EMDR therapy.
The American comedian Adam Clayton Holland talks about how EMDR helped him, following his sister’s suicide, in an excerpt from his new book published in GQ magazine.
The Guardian newspaper ran a feature on EMDR after former Spice Girl Mel B announced she was having the therapy.
BBC TV’s Victoria Derbyshire programme interviewed Gemma Dowler, the sister of murdered schoolgirl Milly, on the anniversary of what would have been her 30th birthday. Gemma received EMDR after suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of the tragedy.
A wide range of media interviewed businessman Sean Gardner who set up the charity Trauma Response UK with volunteer EMDR therapists after he was caught up in the Manchester Arena attack. Here is a selection of the press coverage:
Sally and Gemma, the mother and sister of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler, talk to the Evening Standard about how they have both found new hope for the future thanks to EMDR therapy.
BBC Radio 4’s iPM programme discusses EMDR and how it has helped victims of bullying.
The Daily Mail reports on how EMDR helped a woman recover from anxiety and depression. Hannah Cooper’s ongoing problems stemmed from unprocessed memories around her parents’ divorce when she was just 11.
The Daily Mail explains how Sarah Cavanagh was diagnosed with PTSD 18 months after a traumatic labour. She started experiencing puzzling physical symptoms when she had to go back to work. EMDR therapy helped her dramatically in her recovery.
An account in Wales Online of a woman in her 30s who was finally helped by EMDR after years of eating disorders, depression and suicide attempts triggered by childhood sexual abuse.
In the Daily Record, Sheila Brill shares how EMDR changed her life after suffering with PTSD for 20 years. Mistakes during a difficult labour left her daughter disabled, and Sheila experienced traumatic flashbacks and fits of rage until she tried EMDR.
A story of one soldier’s recovery from PTSD with EMDR
Despite her scepticism, nine sessions of EMDR therapy stopped Hilary Horton’s intense flashbacks. The Telegraph reports how, as an Air Force reserve nurse, she had been in a traumatic situation in Iraq that left her with serious PTSD.
BBC News tells the story of Dr Michael Paterson OBE who was helped by EMDR following the loss of both his arms in the Northern Ireland Troubles. He went on to become a leading expert in EMDR in the UK and Ireland.