EMDR / Hypnosis / Family & Couple Therapy


EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a psychotherapeutic technique used to help children, adolescents and adults to recover from the after effects of trauma.

When a person is traumatised, the brain healing process may become overloaded, leaving the original disturbing experiences unprocessed. These "raw" memories are stored in the brain and can continue to cause trouble when current events trigger memories of the trauma causing distress from flashbacks, nightmares, anxiety, panic, and other emotional and physical symptoms, and impeding the person moving on in their lives (for an easy to read and visual explanation of trauma click here).

EMDR is a complex method of psychotherapy that integrates many of the successful elements of a range of therapeutic approaches, combining them with eye movements or other forms of bilateral stimulation (e.g. hand tappings, light bars, tactile devices, etc.) in ways which seem to stimulate the brain’s information processing system (for further information about EMDR and research see EMDR.org.uk and for an EMDR Client HandOut click here).

EMDR has been used successfully with a wide range of other mental health problems such as anxiety, depression, phobias, Obssessive Compulsive Disorder, and many more. For a comprehensive list of EMDR publications please refer to Francine Shaphiro’s library at emdr.nku.edu. Further references are EMDR for children and adolescents and How EMDR works? Look at this animation.


Hypnosis is not a psychotherapeutic approach, but it is a technique that can be used to facilitate and enhance the effectiveness of any type of psychotherapy. Hypnotic "trance" is a waking state in which the person’s attention is detached from his or her immediate environment and is absorbed by inner experiences such as feelings, thoughts and imagination. The therapist uses the trance state to make suggestions and the client follows by producing changes in feelings, sensations and behaviour. For example, a suggestion may be for a person to concentrate on her/his hands and feel them becoming lighter and lighter until they levitate. Although it is of course the person who is moving his/her arms, there is a feeling that the arms are moving all by themselves because the movement is automatic and involuntary. Stage hypnotists and their freaky shows, however, have done a lot to misguide lay audiences into believing that hypnosis is about a hypnotist having power over individuals. Contrary to that, the person in hypnotic trance does not lose control. However, because people seek therapy at a time when they are feeling vulnerable it is important that the client finds a therapist that he/she can fully trust and rely on (for more information on history and application of hypnosis see BSCAH website).

Hypnosis has been used in the treatment of depression, anxiety, stress, habit disorders, phobias, obsessive behaviours, trauma, etc. Hypnosis as part of psychotherapy treatment can help the client to use their own inner resources to overcome debilitating psychological and emotional problems.

Hypnosis and EMDR can combine well in a treatment program.

Length of Therapy

My session lasts 60 minutes. The number of sessions required varies considerably. 90% of the clients I have worked with completed therapy within 7 sessions or fewer and 10% were clients who required more than 7 sessions. My work is influenced by the Solution-focused brief therapy approach – a practice oriented towards the clients’ strengths and resources with a future and goal based focus. (For a list of evidence based research see BRIEF website).

Family Therapy

Family Therapy sessions involve the whole family unit. Family life should be a joy and fun for children and parents. However, sometimes families can get into unhelpful patterns and they may need professional support to break away from these patterns. Family therapy can help family members to collaborate together to change problems they may be stuck on. Family therapy work is usually brief and the number of sessions depends on the goals established by each family.

Couple Therapy

Relationships can be strained by a variety of pressures including different styles of parenting, job stresses, and individuals own expectations. The process of coming together to reflect and work things through together can help to strengthen your relationship.

The number of sessions of couple work will depend on the goals established by the couple.


The EMDR / Hypnosis / Family & Couple Therapy Practitioners at Keats are Daniele Wichene, Liz Doherty and Soraia Crystal .