EMDR Therapy

In 2023, I completed EMDR training through EMDR Consulting, an EMDRIA approved training.

What is EMDR Therapy?

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a form of psychotherapy developed by Francine Shapiro in the late 1980s. It is designed to alleviate distress associated with traumatic memories and is primarily used to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other types of trauma-related conditions.

The therapy involves eight phases, starting with the therapist helping the patient recall distressing memories. Then, the therapist instructs the patient to shift their eye movements (or employ other bilateral stimulation such as hand-tapping or audio stimulation) while thinking about the traumatic memory. This procedure is believed to reduce the emotional impact of the memory.

The goal of EMDR is to help individuals process and integrate traumatic experiences in a healthy way, reducing their psychological impact and allowing the person to develop more adaptive coping mechanisms. The exact mechanisms by which EMDR works are still a subject of research, but it is generally believed that the process may involve similar mechanisms to those occurring during REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep, which aid in the processing of emotional experiences. EMDR is recognized by the American Psychiatric Association and the World Health Organization as an effective treatment for PTSD.

EMDR FAQ

What happens during an EMDR session?

During EMDR, your therapist will guide you to recall distressing memories while you engage in bilateral stimulation, such as shifting your eye movements, hand-tapping, or audio stimulation. This combination is believed to help reduce the emotional intensity of the memory.

How does EMDR work?

Although the exact mechanisms are still being studied, it’s generally thought that EMDR may mimic the natural processes of REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep, aiding in the healthy processing and integration of traumatic experiences.

How long does EMDR therapy take?

The length of EMDR treatment can vary greatly depending on the individual, the complexity of their trauma, and their individual response to therapy. However, some people notice changes after a few sessions.

Does EMDR involve hypnosis?

No, EMDR does not involve hypnosis. While you’ll be asked to recall traumatic memories, you remain alert and in control during the entire process.

Is EMDR only for trauma or PTSD?

While EMDR was originally developed to treat PTSD, it has since been found effective for a variety of conditions related to distressing memories and experiences, including anxiety, depression, and specific phobias.

Are there any side effects to EMDR therapy?

Some individuals may experience increased feelings of distress or vivid, realistic dreams during the initial phase of treatment, as the process involves confronting and processing traumatic experiences. However, these side effects often decrease with continued therapy. Always consult your therapist if you have any concerns during treatment.

EMDR Therapy Online