The woman who was afraid of water


Iris explained that, in cognitive therapy, this was called memory "processing", and the particular method she used had a rather scientific-sounding name - EMDR, or Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing. But it was actually quite simple. It wasn't about revisiting childhood fears; it didn't even do what was expected in some trauma treatment, which was to relive an event through "imaginal exposure". With EMDR, you had only to think about your particular symptoms, and the events or beliefs that went with them. This was called "dual awareness" - thinking about the past and present at the same time. And there was an easy trick involved. Iris would tap Mai's knees while she let her reactions sink in, or move a finger back and forward across her eyes.






Alexander Linklater

Original Work Citation

Linklater, A. (2007, February 10). The woman who was afraid of water. London, England: The Guardian, Weekend, 69



“The woman who was afraid of water,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed January 16, 2021,

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