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Prince Harry Has Revealed He Uses EMDR Therapy to Get Over Past Trauma. What Exactly is It?

File photo of Prince Harry from Reuters.

File photo of Prince Harry from Reuters.

Prince Harry has said that he is taking help of EMDR therapy for past trauma following the death of his mother Princess Diana.

After making explosive revelations about the British Royal family during an interview with Oprah Winfrey earlier this year, Prince Harry once again sat with the host for the Apple TV show,The Me You Can’t See. This time, the 36-year-old prince talked about his mental health issues and the stigma around it. While the previous interview, where he accompanied his wife Meghan Markle, was mostly centered around the Royal family’s treatment of the Duchess, the fresh chat with Oprah saw Harry opening up on emotional distress following his mother’s premature death in 1997. In the trailer, Harry is seen opening up about mental health, “To make that decision to receive help is not a sign of weakness. In today’s world, more than ever, it is a sign of strength."

Harry, in the Apple TV documentary series on mental health, has spoken about the trauma of losing his mother when he was just 12. The 36-year-old revealed that taking the help of EMDR therapy has helped him in dealing with the past trauma, reported Upworthy.

What is EMDR therapy

Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a form of therapy developed by American psychologist Francine Shapiro in the late 80s. One random day when Francine was walking in the park, she realised her eye movements apparently reduced the negative emotions associated with her own distressing memories.

When the psychologist made other people do the same experiment, she found that the volunteers had also noticed a desensitising effect. However, when it became clear that eye movements alone cannot generate therapeutic effects, so she added a cognitive component to deal with traumatic memories. And after years of research, Francine formulated EMDR.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence or Nice has recommended the therapy along with World Health Organization for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The therapy is also being used for problems brought due to one suffering from PTSD. Patients who often have lingering stress, thoughts and nightmares that are brought on by such traumatic experiences can also be treated using EMDR. People undergoing the therapy will take part in several sessions during which they are asked to focus on the experiences that trouble them and the sensations they cause in them.

The EMDR therapy aims to help reduce the troubling emotions one associated with the disturbing experiences they have had. In EMDR therapy, people are coerced to divide their attention and focus on focusing on dual stimulation at the same time as they are focusing on the traumatic event. The therapy helps to mellow down the distress when the brain is let to store the traumatic memories normally, which experts say is not usually how bad memories are stored in our heads, a report said.

Watch the trailer for the show here:

EMDR practitioners also use sounds or taps, besides eye movement, to help their patients process the traumatic memories.

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