Sensorimotor-focused EMDR: Psychotherapy and Peak Performance

Dr Art O’Malley

Dip Clin Supervision, FRCPsych

Dr O’Malley has practised as a doctor since 1990 and as a Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist from 2004 until 2014 for the NHS. Accredited as an EMDR Consultant since 2008, he sees patients with complex trauma across the life span.

He has presented widely in the fields of trauma, neglect and the developing brain, attachment disorders, personality disorders, emotional dysregulation, ADHD and ASD diagnosis and management.

He supervises therapists towards accreditation as both practitioners and consultants in EMDR.

In January 2011, he was elected to a fellowship of The Royal College of Psychiatrists.

Dr O’Malley’s book The Art of BART (the Bilateral Affective Reprocessing of Thoughts) is a practitioner’s introduction to an innovative psychotherapy model that draws on and integrates well-proven therapies including EMDR.


Dr Art O’Malley
Holmed Clinic
665 Burnage Lane
Manchester M19 1RR

Telephone: 07450209933



Peak Performance

  • Intensive treatment for mental health disorders, including ADHD, Asperger’s syndrome, mood disorders, phobias, eating disorders, and deliberate self-harm.
  • Development of mental toughness and resilience towards achieving peak performance in areas of study, business or sport.
  • Treatment of complex trauma, dissociation and post-traumatic stress disorders.
  • Management of the emotional aspects of physical health problems, including complex pain.
  • Neglect trauma and assault (physical, emotional and sexual).

About the Therapy

  • Sensorimotor-focused EMDR: Psychotherapy and Peak Performance is a novel therapeutic approach developed over the last eight years by Dr Art O’Malley.
  • During this time it has been used in Traumatic Stress Clinics in both Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services and Parental and Infant Mental Health Services (based in an adult inpatient ward in a district general hospital).
  • Dr O’Malley has completed specialist training in the Principles of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Systematic Family Therapy and Psychodynamic Therapy.
  • As a Consultant in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry he underwent further training in Trauma-Focused therapeutic approaches. These include EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing), Sensorimotor Psychotherapy and Peak Performance and Mindfulness.
  • Through his passion in helping patients overcome traumatic experiences and reach peak performance, Dr O’Malley has created a therapy that combines elements from therapies including EMDR and Sensorimotor Psychotherapy. The result is Sensorimotor-focused EMDR: Psychotherapy and Peak Performance.
  • This dynamic model for Psychotherapy and Peak Performance is driven by the development of the patient-clinician rapport and seeks to reprocess negative experiences and traumatic events.

What happens during treatment?

Treatment involves an initial assessment of the patient’s past history along with a chronology of any relevant traumatic or psychiatric history.

Following an explanation of sensorimotor-focused EMDR therapy, treatment can commence immediately.

Continuous bilateral stimulation is applied by a combination of tactile units that clients hold in their hands and headphones that are placed adjacent to the cerebellum and emit alternating sounds of varying frequencies. These work together to help integrate information between the mind and the body.

Clients are facilitated to get in touch with their emotions, feelings and the sensorimotor aspects of any adverse or traumatic experiences.

Bilateral stimulation allows bottom-up and top-down approaches to the reprocessing and integration of specific traumatic experiences. The location of the felt experience moves from the gut to the heart before being felt as a swelling or lump in the throat. The tactile units are used to track and shift the physical location of the felt experience.

Patients and clients report a tingling sensation in the cortex, which may represent the development of new neural networks linked to overcoming and resolving traumatic experiences. The stimulation is switched off to allow for a 20 to 30 minutes period of verification, reappraisal and new learning.

Over the next 72 hours REM sleep becomes activated, and greater levels of insight can occur.