EMDR Therapy

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is a type of psychotherapy that was developed to help individuals process traumatic memories and experiences. It involves a structured, eight-phase approach that uses stimulation—such as eye movements or tapping—to help individuals access and process traumatic events and memories.

What is EMDR Therapy?

EMDR Therapy Process

The EMDR therapy process typically involves several phases from preparation to evaluation. During the preparation phase, the therapist and individual work together to establish goals for therapy and develop strategies to manage distress in the processing phase.

The processing phase uses right-left stimulation to access and process traumatic memories, with the goal of reducing distress and increasing insight and understanding. The evaluation phase involves looking at your progress and understanding the gains made through therapy.

  • Working to manage distress and trauma
  • Establishing goals for reprocessing memories
  • Boosting insight, understanding, and comfort
  • Reflecting on the trauma therapy process

How Does EMDR Work?

The exact mechanism of EMDR is still not fully understood, but it is believed to involve changes in how traumatic memories are stored in the brain. By repeatedly processing traumatic memories under stimulation, it is thought that the individual’s brain can reorganize the traumatic memory in a way that reduces distress and promotes adaptation. This can lead to improved mental health and overall well-being for the person in therapy.

Benefits of EMDR Therapy

EMDR therapy has several benefits, including its ability to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other trauma-concerned mental health issues. It is a relatively short-term therapy, with many individuals seeing significant improvements in symptoms after just a few sessions. EMDR therapy can also be used in combination with other therapies or treatments to enhance their effectiveness. Additionally, EMDR therapy may be less distressing for some individuals than traditional talk therapies, as it involves less verbal processing of traumatic events.

  • Treatment for PTSD and trauma
  • Short-term therapy approach
  • Combines with other therapies
  • Less distressing than talk therapy
  • Non-verbal processing of events
  • Reduces discomfort and distress

EMDR Therapy Experience

During the preparation phase, the therapist and you work together to establish goals for therapy and develop strategies to manage distress during the processing of trauma. Processing involves using stimulation to access traumatic memories and then reduce distress, increase insight, and promote understanding. Evaluating your progress and understanding the gains made in your therapy is the final step. While the process can be short and intense, many feel that EMDR therapy is a transformative experience.

What is EMDR Therapy Like?

EMDR therapy varies to the individual’s needs and goals, but usually it involves a structured, eight-phase technique that uses stimulation, like looking left-to-right or tapping your knees, to help you process traumatic events that may have affected you in the past.

In sessions, the therapist guides you through each phase, aiming to reduce distress and promote resilience. While therapy can be emotionally tense and charged at times, most people find EMDR to be a helpful and effective process to handle trauma and its related mental health effects.