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Prince Harry Does EDMR Therapy to Cope With Trauma. What Is It?

In his new docuseries on mental health, Harry is seen undergoing the therapy to cope with trauma and anxiety

Updated
Mind It
2 min read
<div class="paragraphs"><p>What is EDMR? How does it work?</p></div>
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In his new docuseries released on 21 May, Prince Harry opens up about his struggle with mental health and the techniques he uses to cope with them.

The multi-part docuseries, co produced by Harry with American television host, Oprah Winfrey explores mental health and emotional wellbeing.

In it Harry also confronts the trauma he faced after the death of his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, and his journey coming to terms with it.

A clip from the series has made people curious about the therapy technique he is seen attempting to help him cope with this trauma and anxiety.

In the clip, Prince Harry can be seen undergoing what is know as the Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EDMR) Psychotherapy technique under the guidance of a councilor.

What is EDMR? Does it work? FIT breaks it down.

What is EDMR?

EDMR or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing is a relatively new psychotherapy technique developed by US psychologist Francine Shapiro in 1989.

It is used to treat distress stemming from unresolved traumatic memories.

Accoring to the EDMR institute, unlike traditional psychotherapy techniques, EDMR aims to meet the end goal of healing rapidly.

This therapy technique was recognised by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as a recommended treatment for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in 2013.

This technique, according to the WHO can "help people reduce vivid, unwanted, repeated recollections of the traumatic event".

How EDMR Works

EDMR involves accessing and confronting the memories of disturbing experiences in order to slowly dispel the distress they cause.

According to the EDMR institute, the client is made to focus on these memories while also being attentive to a 'dual stimulant' which is usually eye movement, but can also be tapping, tactile stimulation, and auditory tones, or a combination of these.

This is done until the particular memory stops triggering a distressful reaction.

In the documentary, Harry is seen talking about the memory of his mother's funeral beinga trigger for him.

The therapy involves 8 phases that involve treatment planning, preparation, assessment, desensitization, installation, body scan, closure, and then reevaluation.

Although studies have shown it's effectiveness, clinical evidence in support of the technique is still low.

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