EMDR Therapy For Tinnitus
EMDR therapy for tinnitus can assist with tinnitus habituation blocks. Tinnitus habituation means no longer being aware of tinnitus symptoms most of the time and if you do become aware of tinnitus it is no longer disturbing. Tinnitus blocks refer to things that can stop us from habituating to tinnitus.
What is EMDR?
EMDR is a somatic psychotherapy. EMDR stands for eye movement desensitisation & reprocessing therapy. It is the leading evidence based approach to PTSD, It can also help phobias and tinnitus.
EMDR does not rely on more traditional talk therapies, or medication but instead uses Rapid Eye Movement (REM) as the basis for treatment. Rapid Eye Movement (REM) is a natural function of the body and occurs when we are in deep sleep. The body uses REM sleep to help it to process daily emotional experiences.
Dr Francine Shapiro, who developed the practice of EMDR therapy in 1989 found that only three 90-minute sessions of EMDR therapy could alleviate symptoms of PTSD in over 77% of the patients that she treated.
EMDR works by way of billateral stimulation. This means the left and right hand side of the body is stimulated alternately. Stimulation includes, taps, eye movements, buzzers or auditory tones. Whilst billateral stimulation is happening a client works on free associations linked to a particular problem. In this case tinnitus. When EMDR protocols are followed a person is able to desensitise themselves to a difficult experience and reprocess the meaning something has for them.
How can EMDR help with tinnitus?
- It can help with trauma or PTSD symtoms which you might be experiencing as a result of trauma which caused tinnitus.
- It can help with trauma or PTSD symtoms which the experience of tinnitus can cause.
- It reduces the automatic fear reaction from the experience of tinnitus.
- It can help with resourcing you to mamage tinnitus better specifically at difficult times. e.g. when trying to sleep.
Matthew Alderton - BSc, MA, Dip, Dip Psych. Psychotherapist & EMDR Pracitioner.
I trained for 7 years at The Centre for Counselling and Psychotherapy Education in Paddington London. I am also an EMDR practitioner. I utilise EMDR therapy as part of an integrated approach to help clients with problematic tinnitus.The main difficulty people have with tinnitus is their reaction to it. EMDR can help to blunt this reaction allowing room for other meaningful tinnitus therapeutic intervention.
Trauma & Somatic Therapy Explained
This video is not specific to tinnitus but it will give you some context to the way EMDR works for someone suffering from PTSD and how it has helped them.
Warning: (this video contains scenes some viewers might find upsetting).
Bilateral Movement Demonstration
EMDR therapy utilises bilateral stimulation. Bilateral stimulation referrs to a gentle stimulation of the right and left side of the body alternately. Bilateral stimulation is carried out at different speeds depending on the EMDR therapy phase of treatment.
This can include following a finger, light stick or moving ball. It can also include physical body tapping, auditory beats or bleeps or vibrating buzzers. Or a combination of several forms of billateral stimulation. Click on the video and follow the ball. This is an example of billateral eye movement.
Study Showing the Efficacy of EMDR for Tinnitus
A study was carried out in 2019 which treated patients at Norfolk University Hospital NHS foundation Trust. This is a summary of its conclusions.
Tinnitus Symptoms Reduction
Study Conclusions: This study has demonstrated that the provision of EMDR has resulted in a clinically and statistically significant improvement in tinnitus symptoms in the majority of those participants who took part. Furthermore, the treatment effect was maintained at 6 months after treatment ceased. This study is of particular interest, as the study protocol was designed to be purposefully inclusive of a diverse range of tinnitus patients. However, as a small uncontrolled study, these results do not consider the significant effects of placebo and therapist interaction. Larger high-quality studies are essential for the verification of these preliminary results.
PDF showing the full study details. 2019 UK Tinnitus Research © 2019 The American Laryngological, Rhinological and Otological Society, Inc.
EMDR For Tinnitus Benefits
EMDR can help to reduce a negative autonomic reaction to tinnitus. Once this is achieved other therapies have more of a tangible benefit to problematic tinnitus.
EMDR can help to calm the nervous system. When our nervous system is less reactve to tinnitus we are able to reinstate calm, balance and homeostasis back into our lives.
Trauma and other conditins closely related to tinnitus can get in the way of tinnitus habituation. When you work through these difficulties it is easier to habituate to tinnitus.
EMDR can allow us to start to relax, even if we are still experiencing tinnitus. When we can relax tinnitus can start to back off.
The best way of reaching us is via our contact form at the below link. We look forward to receiving your therapy request.