Counselling, Psychotherapy and Social Work.

Power of EMDR

A Client Testimonial on the power of EMDR


I was the kind of person that spent his life internalising his emotions, I grew up in a house feeling second best to my older brother and had a struggling life due to that with my dad who came from a military background. This shaped so strongly my teenage years going into adulthood and the actions and how I dealt with them as I’ll explain below.

Years back you would have read about the attack on me. It really scared me at the time and shook me deeply. I tried to be brave and put on a good face to everyone around, but inside I was deeply broken. Cars slowing down made me panic, strangers and strange places could make me sweat. I hadn’t taken the time to talk to anyone post the attack and thought I could get over all the fragments of emotion inside my head on my own.  Of course, it doesn’t, and after years of having my attacker work his way back into my wife’s life I was subjected to seeing him constantly this triggered me constantly and somehow put me into an almost childlike response when he was over at my house I’d retreat to my room and play PlayStation or be in my workshop hiding out.

I’d be plagued by depression and wasn’t sure exactly why life, as good as it was, seemed like I was stuck in this depressive cycle.  My wife insisted I went to a Dr’s who asked me about the depression and I told him about the recent feelings but not about the attack and I was prescribed SSRI’s.

Then next my wife and I had another argument where I said I’d lost passion for life, my new job and our marriage, I was told swiftly I was having a mid-life crisis and found a Therapist, who wasn’t able to book me in right away so the second therapist who had a background with music could take me. I thank the stars I met Stephen. I was apprehensive to talk about myself, my past career and life had me quite shut in and closed off and trying to get my feelings heard at home had backfired.  Upon seeing Stephen and being able to just talk to a neutral person I could share my story of the attack and I was told I had PTSD. In an instant, all the things I’d been suffering were explained. I’d gone from being an outward happy person to a recluse, where even in my own home I was having to face my attacker regularly and my wife didn’t understand my concerns.

I was asked if I was keen to try EMDR at this stage it was such a relief to be told all the paranoia and fear and anxiety I had been feeling for years was not make believe, so I trusted that EMDR would have to be better than doing nothing.

The sessions took place and I was truly blown away by the feelings and visual sites and strong inner emotions and thoughts it allowed to come up. I had been walking around with this splinter of a traumatic experience lodged in my brain constantly rubbing and unable to get it out and after the first session, I could feel that splinter removed.  I was at work that night and suddenly at 10:00 pm my big cold warehouse felt like the warmest most comfortable place, my brain felt like it had finally let go of something and I could feel myself process what I’d gone through and feel it slip away to where it belonged.  I think I’m an analytical person, I take pride in figuring things out, taking things apart and putting them back together, but I’ve been unable to around this trauma and suddenly my brain was doing it subconsciously.  After each session, I was going through the process unknowingly of thinking through the past memory and seeing it for what it was and being able to join all the dots and coming up with light bulb moments of knowing certain things all linked to today and especially to my past few years. I’ve never seen such clear lines through my life and experiences and the EMDR let me see and draw those lines.

When I had worked through the trauma it raised concerns about why I had let myself stay and be walked over like that having my attacker back in my home and not standing up for myself. Stephen talked me through past stuck memories in my brain around my childhood and my mid-teens that I haven’t been able to shake. With the EMDR sessions again I was suddenly given such perspective on those memories. I was able to come to terms with the past and my situations and suddenly realise how connected these past – almost trivial to other peoples- experiences had kept me trapped reacting the same time and time again. It shaped so much of my life and my moods and my outlook. And it’s only now post those sessions I am finding myself feeling so much lighter and purer. I feel the weight and shroud of all those bad experiences lifted and I am noticing subconsciously I am changing how I look and react with life and others around me.  My marriage has split due to personal issues between my wife and I and I am feeling in charge of my own life and happiness again and I have not felt that for so long. I’ve noticed now looking at flats I’m searching for bright white rooms and outside green views were in the recent past I preferred darker more reclusive rooms and spaces.  I honestly can’t explain this shift other than the EMDR treatment, I truly believe I could have talked for days, weeks, months or even years and not come to the place I am at now.

It was as staggering as in a few hours I can suddenly let my brain subconscious take over the thinking and reacting to the past and let it work it through, I was suddenly granted all this more insight and clarity and I could feel the tenseness leave. It took the pain of the repeating life away and left me with such a pure hope and clarity.  I honestly think the allowing of my brain to let itself make sense of the noise in my head I was able to come up with my own answers, reasons, and reactions and make sense of them, I wasn’t being told what to think or feel or how to react all my healing was coming from within but guided through the treatment by Stephen.

I am today set to create myself a new brighter future untangled from the darkness of my past, my head uncluttered from emotions that tripped me over and healing from where those memory splinters had been stuck in. It sounds so cliché but I feel cleansed.

Stephen de Quincey – Counsellor

Steve de Quincey - Counsellor

B.Social Work (Hons), PGDip Counselling,
Masters Counselling, MNZAC, EMDRAA.


““My well being is definitely higher, and I have a much ‘healthier’ grasp on my mind and self and behaviour as a result of having attended your group and workshops over the years, and so in this I want to say it has... Read More

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