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  1. What Therapy is Prince Harry doing on the new Oprah Winfrey Documentary where he strokes his arms and moves his eyes?

     Prince Harry uses EMDR for Trauma in Oprah Winfrey TV show

    In the new series Harry can be seen working on some of the trauma in his life using a technique called EMDR. The show is called The Me You Can’t  See. The TV show first airs on Apple TV+ on May 21st 2021. In the show he can been seen with his arms crossed and tapping whilst focussing on some bad memories from the past whilst noticing what feelings and memories come up for him. Lots of other famous people have also had EMDR in the past and talked about their experiences including Mel B from the Spice Girls, Kate Garraway and Jameela Jamil. 

    What is EMDR?

    It stands for eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing and therapists such as myself use it to help treat unresolved anxiety and problematic memories. Price Harry is seen using it to help with issues stemming from the death of his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, when he was 12.

    Speaking about how it felt for him Prince Harry said.

     'EMDR is always something that I've wanted to try and that was one of the varieties of different forms of healing or curing that I was willing to experiment with. 

    'And I never would have been open to that had I not put in the work and the therapy that I've done over the years.' 

     Where did EMDR come from?

    Back in the 1980s EMDR was developed by a US psychologist, Francine Shapiro, a Senior Research Fellow Emeritus at the Mental Research Institute in Palo Alto, California. 

    Out one day and while walking in a park, Francine Shapiro suspected that her eye movements were lessening the distress of her own traumatic memories. She tested the approach on others and over time built up a standardised psychological therapy for treating people with traumatic memories. It is now used worldwide by many practitioners alongside other psychological interventions

    Is EMDR like Prince Harry is having used by many people?

    Yes, in fact EMDR therapy is recommended by  the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, and the World Health Organization for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and it is used for a variety of problems brought on by past trauma.

     My own experience of helping people by using EMDR....

    In my experience it is used to help people who still have an emotional attachment to a memory that has happened. It is something that we can often see when people find it hard to talk about or remember.  Sometime people will have a single distressing event in their past that resurfaces through intrusive thoughts, nightmares or flashbacks, causing fear, anxiety and sometimes an urge to avoid situations that trigger the memory. Other times there may be a number of events and we can use EMDR to work through them and help break that attachment and teach them to let go of that anxiety.

    In his own experience of having this intervention as part of his therapy Prince Harry describes flying into London as being a “trigger” for his own anxieties and sense of feeling “hunted”.

    How do you do EMDR on someone? Can you do EMDR on yourself? 

    Although I am a Clinical Hypnotherapist this is one technique that I can use to help people which in fact involves keeping your eyes open and then while focused on a particular experience or event,  anyone undergoing EMDR receives what is called “bilateral stimulation”.

    In Prince Harry’s case, he crossed his arms and tapped his chest alternately on the left and right side to provide the stimulation. There is no hypnosis involved: people are fully conscious during the therapy.

     

    You can read more about EMDR here: EMDR More information

    So, How does EMDR process your memories for you?

    'Memories are processed according to previous experience and assumption and then assimilated,' explains chartered clinical psychologist and former president of the EMDR Association in UK and Ireland, Dr Robin Logie. We learn from memory: hot items aren't picked up, certain foods avoided. These are all filed away and, on the whole, memories from long ago are vague. But if you have a bad experience, that negative memory is frozen in time. Your brain can't process it and the memory returns in dreams and flashbacks, often with a physical response such as feeling sick or actual pain. Rather than fading, it stays as vivid as the day on which it occurred. It hasn't been correctly processed.'

    If you would like to find out more about how EMDR could help you then do feel free to drop me an email and tell me a little about what you are looking for help with via this link [email protected].uk .

     If you are not local and do not want to work on SKype with me then here's some advice. 

    If you are looking for someone local to you who could help you, my advice would be to check what other training and qualifications they have alongside EMDR so that they have the widest available methods to really help you to get what you want.

  2. Why is Billie Piper tapping her face in the movie Rare Beasts?

     

    The trailer for the new Billie Piper film Rare Beasts released on 21st May in cinemas and on online platforms, shows her tapping her face whilst chanting the mantra: “Even though I feel scared and angry I still love and respect myself”

     Billie Piper tapping in Rare Beasts film what is she tapping for.

    People are wondering what she is doing and why?

     Billie Piper has talked openly about the therapy that she has had to help her through difficult times and the tapping that she is doing on her face is one technique that can be used to deal with the type of stress and anxiety we see her experience in the film. Talking about her own journey in Stylist magazine and finding out how the therapist wouldn't just fix her, but that she had to do the work herself she has said..

    "I think there can be quite a lot of time spent trying to get to a place where the client understands that, actually, you’re not going to fix them. You’re not going to do something to them that is going to make them better. They are going to have to have some agency. Sometimes people come to therapy because they feel disempowered in the face of something. “I feel helpless, do it for me.” So, ironically, people don’t love it when we go, “Well you’re the one that’s going to do the work.” 

    Here are all the answers you are looking for about why she is tapping her cheeks in the film.

    Rare Beasts is the first film the Billie Piper has directed and it stars herself too. It’s a romcom in style but with much more going on than your typical Richard Curtis or Bridget Jones film.

    Her character Mandy works for a TV production company and is a single mum with a difficult child who may have OCD. She lives with her mother played by Kerry Fox and her son’s father is still on the scene, played by David Thewlis although things are not great between the two.

    What we see Billie doing in the film more than once where she taps her face and repeats a phrase is a technique that can be used to help deal with stress and anxiety, fears and phobias and other things too. It’s called EFT or tapping for short.

    What is Tapping?

    The tapping technique was discovered by Gary Craig who published a Tapping and EFT handbook explaining what he has discovered about it. It is a technique similar to acupressure and involves tapping on certain pressure points around the face and on the body and hands. What is remarkable about the technique is that you really can tap away stress and anxiety. Many researchers are looking into the efficacy of tapping and there are many clinical studies on EFT already published that show how well it works.

    Like we see Billie Piper doing in the Rare Beasts movie you tap different parts of your face and body whilst repeating a phrase that sums up the problem and also contains a positive aspect. People who learn this technique with me are constantly surprised by how quickly and effectively it can help them deal with a feeling they are struggling with.

    What can I use Tapping or EFT to help with?

    EFT can be used for many different things. As a Clinical Hypnotherapist I use it as part of my therapy with clients alongside helping to teach people ways to relax, switch off and let go of the past. I find that it has amazing success on so many different things. I use it more than any other intervention when I help people with fears and phobias. I have used it for fear of spiders, heights, driving, sickness and many other fears and phobias. In fact there was a very strange side effect for myself when I appear to have lots one of my own fears accidently..After working with many people who had fears of heights my own feelings had gone away without me realising. I found myself up somewhere high and it took a while to realise that I was feeling good because helping other people had rubbed off on me too! It is great to help you let go of stress and anxiety in the moment it is happening, as well as for things you are worried about that have not happened yet.

     Here's Michael Ball talking all about how he uses Tapping on BBC Breakfast..

    If you want to find out more about tapping and how it could help you then do drop me a line at [email protected] and tell me a little bit about what you are looking for help with. I work both in my private practice in Redditch and online with Skype. In fact online tapping works really well and you don’t even need to leave your home to learn it with me.