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Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing

What is EMDR?

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a psychotherapy that enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing life experiences.  Repeated studies show that by using EMDR therapy people can experience the benefits of psychotherapy that once took years to make a difference.


It is widely assumed that severe emotional pain requires a long time to heal.  EMDR therapy shows that the mind can in fact heal from psychological trauma much as the body recovers from physical trauma. 


When you cut your hand, your body works to close the wound.  If a foreign object or repeated injury irritates the wound, it festers and causes pain.  Once the block is removed, healing resumes.  EMDR therapy demonstrates that a similar sequence of events occurs with mental processes.  The brain’s information processing system naturally moves toward mental health.  If the system is blocked or imbalanced by the impact of a disturbing event, the emotional wound festers and can cause intense suffering.  Once the block is removed, healing resumes. 


Using the detailed protocols and procedures learned in EMDR therapy training sessions, clinicians help clients activate their natural healing processes.



EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a type of therapy that has been shown to be effective in treating trauma-related disorders such as PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) and other mental health conditions.


Some potential benefits of EMDR therapy include:

  1. Reduced symptoms of PTSD: EMDR therapy has been shown to be effective in reducing symptoms of PTSD, such as intrusive thoughts, nightmares, and flashbacks.

  2. Faster recovery: EMDR therapy can be a faster form of therapy than traditional talk therapy, with some studies suggesting that clients may experience relief from symptoms after fewer sessions.

  3. Improved self-esteem: EMDR therapy can help clients process negative beliefs about themselves that may have developed as a result of trauma, leading to improved self-esteem and self-worth.

  4. Decreased anxiety and depression: EMDR therapy has been shown to be effective in reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression in some clients.

  5. Improved relationships: EMDR therapy can help clients process past traumatic events that may be impacting their current relationships, leading to improved communication and connection with others.

Overall, EMDR therapy is a promising treatment option for individuals who have experienced trauma or are struggling with other mental health conditions. However, it is important to note that EMDR therapy may not be effective for everyone and should be conducted by a trained and licensed therapist.


EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapy is typically used to treat individuals who have experienced traumatic events, such as physical or sexual assault, natural disasters, combat, or accidents. It can also be used to treat other mental health conditions that are related to past traumatic experiences, such as anxiety, depression, and phobias.

EMDR therapy may be beneficial for individuals who have difficulty coping with their emotions or have negative beliefs about themselves as a result of past traumatic events. It can also be effective for individuals who have tried other forms of therapy without success.

EMDR therapy can be used with children, adolescents, and adults, and may be particularly helpful for individuals who are hesitant to talk about their traumatic experiences or who have difficulty processing their emotions through traditional talk therapy. It is important to note that EMDR therapy is typically conducted by a licensed therapist who has received specialized training in this technique.


During an EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapy session, the therapist and client work together to process past traumatic experiences and associated negative emotions and beliefs. The session typically lasts around 60-90 minutes and involves the following steps:

  1. History and assessment: The therapist will take a thorough history of the client's past trauma and assess their current symptoms and level of distress.

  2. Preparation: The therapist will work with the client to develop coping strategies to manage any distress that may arise during the session, and to establish a sense of safety and trust.

  3. Identifying a target: The therapist and client will identify a specific traumatic memory or current trigger that the client wishes to process.

  4. Dual stimulation: The therapist will use a form of dual stimulation, such as eye movements, tones, or taps, to help the client process the traumatic memory while focusing on the present moment.

  5. Evaluating progress: Throughout the session, the therapist will monitor the client's level of distress and adjust the level of stimulation as needed.

  6. Closure: At the end of the session, the therapist will work with the client to ensure they feel grounded and safe, and provide them with self-care strategies to use between sessions.

Overall, EMDR therapy is a structured and evidence-based approach to processing past traumatic experiences that aims to reduce distress and promote healing.

Introduction to EMDR Therapy

“With the new therapeutic approaches that reprocess painful and traumatic memories such as EMDR, therapists are more able to help people deal with dissociation in a way that allows the memories to integrate in a healthier fashion.”
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