Take control of your memories, thoughts or pain… It’s really possible!

spokz people RGB copySpokz People are a non-profit organisation in Staffordshire and the West Midlands providing 1-2-1 and group support to adults with physical disabilities and their families. They provide support with things like relationships, sex, pain and fatigue, anxiety, confidence, low mood and much more.

Mèl Halacre, Clinical Director explains:

Mèl Halacre“Our service is quite unique in that all of us have a personal connection with disability as well as having qualifications. In my case, my partner has a physical disability. Most people we work with say that our disability experience makes us more effective than generic services. We also work in a very flexible way which suits many disabled people. We’re a friendly bunch and passionate about helping people get the most out of their lives.

One of the therapies we offer is EMDR for trauma. A trauma can happen when you have had an accident, surgery, repeated hospitalisation or your diagnosis was difficult. Being isolated from your family at such a difficult time can also contribute to trauma.

EMDR is great for people who don’t like talking about feelings. You just let your brain do most of the work! EMDR is also useful if you have speech difficulties or have a pain condition.”

What is EMDR?

EMDR is an acronym for ‘Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing’ (yes it’s long-winded, but we didn’t make it up!).

EMDR started off as a treatment for war veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder. They soon discovered it was helpful with many different traumas.

It is recommended by the NHS, but availability is patchy and there is usually a wait.

Senior Man SeriesAn example

Phil (alias) has been hospitalised more than ten times in the past ten years, often emergencies due to breathing difficulties. The suffocating feeling he experienced made his body disassociate from his mind: a way of protecting ourselves in this type of emergency situations.

On top of this there were several occurrences of misdiagnosis as well as a lack of bedside manner from healthcare professionals.

Now, any situation where he has little control brings back the same thoughts and feelings resulting in panic attacks and anxiety.

EMDR can stop daily situations triggering these memories, as well as helping make these memories less upsetting.

How does EMDR work?

Normal memories are stored in a processed form in our brains. In situations of fear or trauma however, our brain can become overwhelmed and processing is missed out. These memories are stored unprocessed, away from other memories.

When you recall the memory, it is like playing the same video again and again. You re-experience what you saw, heard, smelt, tasted or felt. This can be quite intense. You can have similar symptoms as a war veteran like flashbacks and nightmares.

During EMDR the therapist asks you to follow their fingers left and right. This left-right movement stimulates the brain, causing the memory to be less upsetting and more like ‘ordinary’ memories. The theory is that EMDR is similar to what happens naturally when we sleep and our eyes move rapidly from side to side.

Locations & Fees

EMDR has to be done face to face and is therefore only available in Lichfield, Staffordshire at the moment. However, there are many ways we can support you. If you live in Birmingham we have a grant which means you can access our services at low cost. We consider reduced fees in other areas on a case by case basis. We work nationwide via email, Skype and telephone.

Find out more about EMDR or our other services?


01543899317 or 07733681883

By Mèl Halacre

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