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 is a set of standardized protocols that incorporates elements from different treatment approaches.

How does EMDR work?

EMDR therapy is an integrative psychotherapy method that uses a technique called bilateral stimulation to repeatedly activate opposite sides of the brain. Therapists often use eye movements to facilitate bilateral stimulation. These eye movements mimic the period of sleep referred to as rapid eye movement or REM sleep, and this portion of sleep is frequently considered to be the time when the mind processes the recent events in the person’s life. 

The form of bilateral stimulation used in EMDR therapy is determined based on each person's capacities and can take place using tactile or auditory stimulation instead of eye movement.

EMDR seems to help the brain reprocess the trapped memories in such a way that adaptive information processing is resumed. Therapists often use EMDR to help clients uncover and process beliefs (e.g. I am incompetent) that are linked to past distressing events including those that took place during formative years.   

How can EMDR help?

EMDR had been originally established as helpful for PTSD, although it’s been proven useful for a variety of conditions including:

  • Panic Attacks
  • Complicated Grief
  • Trauma induced reactivity
  • Psychological impacts of accidents, wars and disasters
  • Disturbing Memories
  • Phobias
  • Performance Anxiety
  • Prolonged exposure to stress and stressful environments
  • Sexual and/or Physical Abuse
  • Body Dysmorphia
  • Distressing emotions that appear excessive given the current situation
  •  Unhelpful beliefs about yourself that persistently impact you relationships with yourself  and others while on a logical level you know that those beliefs are not true.

Learn more from the EMDR International Association:



You are welcome to schedule a consultation to see if EMDR might help you release what no longer serves you.