Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) relies on a client's own rapid, rhythmic eye movements, and is founded on the belief that these eye movements can weaken the intensity of emotionally charged memories. EMDR is most often used to treat PTSD or other traumas, but is also sometimes used for panic attacks, eating disorders, addictions, and anxiety. EMDR sessions can last up to 90 minutes, and usually starts with a client rating their level of distress. A therapist then typically moves their fingers in front of your face (or sometimes toe tapping or musical tones), asking you to follow along with your eyes, while you recall a traumatic event and all the sensations that come with it. You will gradually be guided by the therapist to shift thoughts from the traumatic experience to a more comforting one. The goal of EMDR is to make disturbing memories less immobilizing. Think this approach might be right for you? Reach out to one of TherapyDen’s EMDR specialists today.

Need help finding the right therapist?
Find Your Match

Meet the specialists


I have been trained in EMDR and am currently in the certification process. I receive bi-monthly consultation for EMDR in order to continue strengthening my skillset and expertise.

— Shelby Chantilly Alkire, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in , CA

I have utilized EMDR therapy to help clients overcome their past traumas - from childhood bullying to childhood sexual abuse to complex trauma, which has occurred throughout someone's life. This modality is also helpful for those with chronic pain or facing anxiety and depression without having experienced trauma.

— Will Dempsey, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Boston, MA

EMDR is a trauma-reprocessing method that has been proven effective in a variety of symptoms and diagnoses from PTSD, anxiety, grief, depression, dissociative disorders, attachment, trauma, victims of assault, etc. I am certified through EMDRIA. I am also a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional (CCTP,) along with a trauma-informed yoga teacher. This means that we move in a way that is thoughtful, conscious, compassionate, co-created, and focused on your internal and external safety.

— Claire Fountain, Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern

Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing or "EMDR" is extremely helpful Research has shown EMDR therapy to be effective in treating PTSD, depression, anxiety, addiction and more. EMDR helps you process through debilitating thoughts and beliefs you've struggled with as a result of past experiences. EMDR helps get "stuck" memories "unstuck" so that you can move on with your life and stop living in the past.

— Julie Holburn, Counselor in Boulder, CO

Do you feel like you are stuck on some experience from the past? Do you know you "should" be over it, but you can't move on? Do you find yourself repeatedly stuck in a negative thought pattern that you cant stop? EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a trauma treatment that works to reduce symptoms of trauma and help propel my clients forward. Even if you didn't consider your negative experience a "trauma," your brain might be treating it that way.

— Nicole Bolognini, Addictions Counselor in Succasunna, NJ

As of Feb 2018 I will be certified in EMDR to help those with past traumas and for whom traditional talk therapy is not sufficient. EMDR addresses trauma by helping the brain reprocess by using bilateral stimulation, and is a proven and effective trauma treatment.

— Linnea Logas, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Minneapolis, MN

Eye Movement or other forms of bilateral stimulation activate your problem-solving process, something that happens during REM sleep when your eyes are darting back and forth. By focusing on a specific problem, and both its negative and positive emotions, sensations, and beliefs, then adding bilateral stimulation, your brain begins problem solving. Since you are focused on a specific problem, your brain works through it more effectively than if it randomly comes up while you are sleeping.

— Patricia Alvarado, EMDR Therapist, Psychotherapist in Los Angeles, CA

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. Studies and my experience show EMDR therapy people can experience the benefits of psychotherapy that once took years to make a difference. This treatment can be used for trauma, anxiety, life stressors and more. EMDR is my primary treatment modality

— Deena Patel, Clinical Social Worker in Brooklyn, NY

I began my training in EMDR in 2011, and with years of consultation over the last decade, I have assisted hundreds of individuals release themselves from memories that they felt stuck in. When you experience something that is traumatic, sometimes you experience the event over and over has if it is happening right now. EMDR moves the disturbing or traumatic memory from the part of the brain that processes the "present" to a part of the brain that processes the "past".

— Julius Peterson, Clinical Social Worker in Decatur, GA

EMDR: When a disturbing an event or trauma occurs, it can get locked in the nervous system. EMDR helps to unlock the nervous system and allow the mind and body to process the experience safely. I am fully trained in using EMDR treatment and have successfully treated adults and children. EMDR is one of my favorite modalities to use in treatment because it is based in science and it works! Additionally, treatment is short term and can be weaved into other modalities easily.

— Ivonne Melgar, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Sacramento, CA

EMDR uses eye movements or sound to help you reprocess experiences that your brain hasn't stored in a helpful way. EMDR makes those memories less powerful and gives you relief from anxiety, depression, or PTSD.

— Regina Stiffler, Licensed Professional Counselor

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... EMDR therapy is an eight-phase treatment. Eye movements (or other bilateral stimulation) are used during one part of the session. -EMDR Institute

— Jules Allison, Professional Counselor Associate in Portland, OR

EMDR is at the forefront of trauma therapies. It's a modality that supports the body-mind in revealing/healing past trauma. Trauma can cause us to feel anxious, depressed, panicked, stuck, dissociated, and disconnected. When we feel this way day after day, our bodies often become fatigued due to over-working, which can cause negative coping mechanisms, isolation, and other challenges. EMDR helps us to unlock trauma stored deep in the body-mind and find relief and healing.

— Leta Lawhead, Associate Clinical Social Worker in Bellingham, WA

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is an extensively researched integrative psychotherapy approach that has proven consistently effective in the rapid treatment of trauma, PTSD, and many other presenting issues. Did you realize it could also help you learn to reduce stress, cope with grief and loss, improve your self-esteem, phobias like health/performance/social anxiety, reduce negative self-talk, and move beyond "stuck" points? I've had extensive training in EMDR and can help

— JaLeah Law, Clinical Psychologist in Newport beach, CA

EMDR has been shown to help those suffering from the burden of their trauma history. It has also been shown to be highly effective as a way of helping clients looking to shift out of negative beliefs that are holding them back from living a fulfilling life. Most clients report being at peace with the issue they came into therapy with, gaining insights about what happened to them and are able to move on from therapy feeling more free and less burdened by the issue that brought them here.

— Jordan Nodelman, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Wilton Manors, FL

I laughed hysterically the first time I experienced the full effects of EMDR because I could not believe it worked so well on me, but it did! Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is an extensively researched, effective psychotherapy method proven to help people recover from trauma and other distressing life experiences, including PTSD, anxiety, depression, and panic disorders.

— Kenneth Nelan, Licensed Professional Counselor in Mequon, WI

EMDR stands for Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy. It is a body mind integrated therapy that has been proven to be highly effective for those who have experienced trauma. I practice somatic an attachment focused EMDR, which allows the client to process distressing memories with less resistance.

— Paula Kirsch, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in , MI

I have completed training in EMDR through the EMDR Institute.

— Siobhan Colgan, Therapist

EMDR or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing is a treatment protocol that can be applied to multiple concerns including trauma, anxiety, and depression. It can be a useful way to experience relief from distressing experiences.

— Michael Johnson, Psychologist in Gilbert, AZ