Credit given to EMDR Institute Inc (EMDR.com)

How many sessions will it take?2023-06-06T13:41:17-07:00

Unfortunately, this is not possible to say on a general FAQs page. Everyone’s circumstances are unique to them and the length of time counseling can take to allow you to accomplish your goals depends on your desire for personal development, your commitment, and the factors that are driving you to seek counseling in the first place.

Can effects of EMDR therapy be attributed to placebo or non-specific effects?2023-06-03T02:42:11-07:00

No. A number of studies have found EMDR therapy superior in outcome to placebo treatments, and to treatments not specifically validated for PTSD. EMDR has outperformed active listeneing (Scheck et al., 1998), standard outpatient care consisting of individual cognitive, psychodynamic, or behavioral therapy in a Kaiser Permanente Hospital (Marcus et al., 1997), relaxation training with biofeedback (Carlson et al., 1998). EMDR therapy has been found to be relatively equivalent to CBT therapies in seven randomized clinical trials that compared the two approaches. Because the treatment effects are large and clinically meaningful, it can be concluded that EMDR therapy is not a placebo treatment. For example, in a meta-analysis of PTSD treatments, Van Etten and Taylor (1988) calculated that mean effect sizes on self-report measures for placebo and control conditions as 0.43, for EMDR as 1.24, and for CBT as 1.27 (p.35). Several studies (eg., Thordarson et al., 2001) have measured the credibility of the treatments being provided, as a way to determine if EMDR therapy elicited more confidence from clients, thereby producing larger effects; no study found EMDR more or less credible. Because EMDR therapy is not more credible than these other therapies, it appears that the effects cannot be attributed to suggestion or a heightened placebo effect.

Will I live the trauma as intensely as before?2023-06-03T02:42:33-07:00

Many people are conscious of only a shadow of the experience, while others feel it to a greater degree. Unlike some other therapies, EMDR therapy clients are not asked to relive the trauma intensely and for prolonged periods of time. In EMDR therapy, when there is a high level of intensity it only last for a few moments and then decreases rapidly. If it does not decrease rapidly on its own, the clinician has been trained in techniques to assist it to dissipate. The client has also been trained in techniques to immediately relieve the distress.

Are eye movements considered essential to EMDR Therapy?2023-06-03T02:42:53-07:00

Although eye movements are often considered its most distinctive element, EMDR therapy is not a simple procedure dominated by the use of eye movements. It is a complex psychotherapy, containing numerous components that are considered to contribute to treatment effects. Eye movements are used to engage the client’s attention to an external stimulus, while the client is simultaneously focusing on internal distressing material. Shapiro describes eye movements as “dual attention stimuli,” to identify the process in which the client attends to both external and internal stimuli. Therapist directed eye movements are the most commonly used dual attention stimulus but a variety of other stimuli including hand-tapping and auditory stimulation are often used. The use of such alternate stimuli has been an integral part of the EMDR protocol for more than 10 years (Shapiro 1991, 1993).

What are the side effects?2023-06-03T02:43:19-07:00

As with any form of psychotherapy, there may be a temporary increase in distress.

1. Distressing and unresolved memories may emerge

2. Some clients may experience reactions during a treatment session that neither they nor the administering clinician may have anticipated, including a high level of emotion or physical sensations.

3. Subsequent to the treatment session, the processing of incidents/material may continue, and other dreams, memories, feelings, etc., may emerge.

Go to Top