EMDR Therapy

What is EMDR Therapy?

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is an integrative psychotherapy approach that has been extensively researched and proven effective for the treatment of trauma.

EMDR was developed to help individuals process and heal from traumatic experiences. While it is true that EMDR therapy does not require the client to extensively talk about the distressing event or complete homework between sessions, there are some important nuances to consider.

How does EMDR work?

In EMDR therapy, the focus is on facilitating the processing of traumatic memories that have become “stuck” or unprocessed. The therapist guides the client through a series of bilateral stimulations, which can include eye movements, taps, or sounds. These bilateral stimulations are thought to mimic the rapid eye movements that occur during the dreaming phase of sleep (REM sleep), which is believed to be involved in memory processing.

During an EMDR session, the client is asked to bring to mind the distressing memory or event while simultaneously attending to the bilateral stimulation. The therapist helps the client navigate through the different aspects of the memory, including thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations, as they arise. The goal is to facilitate the reprocessing of the memory, allowing it to be integrated into the client’s overall memory network in a more adaptive and less distressing way.

Safe and Supportive Environment

While EMDR therapy does not require the client to provide explicit details of the traumatic event or engage in extensive verbal processing, it does involve revisiting the memory to some extent. This can be emotionally challenging for some individuals, as it may temporarily activate distressing emotions and sensations. However, the therapist is trained to create a safe and supportive environment, and they employ techniques to help the client regulate their emotions during the session.


It is important to note that the effectiveness of EMDR therapy is supported by research and clinical evidence. It has been found to be effective in treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other trauma-related conditions. EMDR therapy can indeed lead to a decrease in disturbing symptoms and promote healing by enabling the brain’s natural processing abilities.

Each person’s experience with therapy, including EMDR, may vary. It is recommended to consult with a qualified EMDR therapist who can provide a comprehensive assessment and tailor the treatment approach to your specific needs and goals.

What does EMDR help?

EMDR had been originally established as helpful for PTSD, although it’s been proven useful for treatment in the following conditions:

  • Panic Attacks
  • Complicated Grief
  • Dissociative Orders
  • Disturbing Memories
  • Phobias
  • Pain Disorders
  • Performance Anxiety
  • Addictions
  • Stress Reduction
  • Sexual and/or Physical Abuse
  • Body Dysmorphic Disorders
  • Peak Performance: Sports and/or Life

Do you experience distressing emotions that appear to you, and perhaps to others, to be excessive given the current situation? Do you tend to be highly reactive to certain triggers? Is there one or more dysfunctional beliefs that you believe about yourself that on an intellectual level you know is not true?

If so, you may be a good candidate for EMDR therapy.

Reach out today for a free phone consultation to see if EMDR might help you release what no longer serves you.