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.

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EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reproccessing. This process uses something called Billateral Stimulation (essentially your eyes follow an object moving back and forth). This process helps intergrate trauma into your memories instead of laying stuck in your body and brain. Reesearch shows that EMDR helps prevent the fight/flight/freeze responses from activiating when one expereinces a sensation that resembles the trauma event.

— Robyn Mendiola, Licensed Clinical Social Worker

From emdria.com: Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing "is a structured therapy that encourages the patient to focus briefly on the trauma memory while simultaneously experiencing bilateral stimulation (typically eye movements), which is associated with a reduction in the vividness and emotion associated with the trauma memories."

— Keith Elias -Shetland Counseling, LLC, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Mountain Lakes, NJ

EMDR therapy helps heal trauma by reprocessing distressing memories with bilateral stimulation. It reduces the emotional charge associated with trauma, offering hope for a better quality of life. EMDR has been successful in treating various forms of trauma, such as combat-related trauma, childhood abuse, accidents, and natural disasters. It is also effective for individuals struggling with other issues, including anxiety, phobias, and grief, as unresolved trauma often underlies these problems.

— Jessica Furland, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Carlsbad, CA

I completed 40 hours of EMDR training through the EMDR Institute, Inc. and 10 hours of consultation hours with two certified EMDR consultants. I have been using EMDR in sessions since 2021.

— Courtney Garner, Licensed Clinical Social Worker

EMDR is a structured therapy that encourages the patient to briefly focus on the trauma/anxiety memory while simultaneously experiencing bilateral stimulation (typically eye movements), which is associated with a reduction in the vividness and emotion associated with the trauma memories. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is an extensively researched, effective psychotherapy method proven to help people recover from trauma and PTSD symptoms.

— Jennifer Bearden, Licensed Clinical Social Worker

I attended an EMDR 3-day extensive, in-person training which provided me with my EMDR therapist certification. I have applied EMDR in counseling sessions and witnessed how EMDR has significantly improved peoples mental health.

— Daniel Lavelle, Licensed Professional Counselor in McLean, VA

Our clinic employs multiple practitioners who are certified to practice EMDR support for clients in tandem with trauma informed care. They have multiple years of experience and understand the nuances of using visual, auditory, or kinesthetic cues to assist clients.

— Barefoot And Balanced Therapy, Licensed Professional Counselor in Clackamas, OR

I've been trained in EMDR through EMDRIA (EMDR International Association) and am currently pursuing certification through additional monthly consultation meetings and continuing education.

— Dr. Abrielle Conway, Psychologist in Cape Coral, FL

EMDR is an intervention to reprocess neural pathways that are built around unhelpful narratives based in experiences that we have difficulty integrating. This can include trauma experiences, early childhood experiences, or cultural narratives that have impacted our sense of self in the world. EMDR is known as the "nonverbal therapy" because it does not require re-hashing of traumatic experiences, and allows your brain to reorganize by using eye movements, tapping, or other bilatural stimulation.

— Elizabeth Hawkins, Sex Therapist

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.

— Cristy Connolly, Counselor in Fair Oaks Ranch, TX

I attended an EMDRIA-approved EMDR Basic Training in 2020. I have experience providing EMDR in person and virtually to children and adults using the tri-phasic model of trauma processing.

— Casey Brasfield, Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor Associate in Winston Salem, NC

Sometimes trauma and negative or painful memories or experiences can block action or achievement of goals, even though at the rational, cognitive level we truly believe that we want it. In such instances, I've found EMDR an immensely beneficial tool. Through a carefully crafted dialogue delivered simultaneously with bilateral stimulation (eye movements or taps), we give the nervous system space to calm and heal itself, reprocessing painful memories in a new and empowering light.

— Joey Sorenson, Licensed Professional Counselor Associate in Austin, TX

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is an evidence-based treatment for PTSD and trauma. EMDR has been shown to be an effective and efficient treatment for traumatic memories that allows people to move forward with their lives. I am certified in EMDR by the EMDR International Association (EMDRIA). I provide EMDR virtually and have found it be incredibly impactful for clients struggling with the effects of trauma on their lives.

— Katie Blake, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in San Francisco, CA

Trauma can affect every aspect of our lives. I am trained in EMDR, a highly effective therapy for processing and healing from traumatic experiences. In my practice I integrate Internal Family Systems (IFS). IFS is a gentle yet profound approach to understanding and healing the different parts of ourselves. I can guide you in exploring and harmonizing your inner world.

— Alex Osias, Psychotherapist in Boulder, CO

EMDR is a form a psychotherapy that helps you heal from symptoms and emotional distress that result from past traumas. Trauma can be a single incident, like a car accident or it can be from long-lasting issues, like sexual abuse or neglect. EMDR involves giving attention to 3 time periods: the past, present and future. We look at past disturbing memories. We also focus on current situations that cause distress, while also helping you develop the skills and attitudes needed for future actions.

— Lisabeth Wotherspoon, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Rochester, NH