Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

What is EMDR?

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a psychotherapy treatment that was designed to reduce the distress associated with traumatic memories. EMDR aims to reduce symptoms of trauma by changing how your memories are stored in your brain. A trained EMDR therapist does this by leading you through a series of bilateral eye movements as you recall traumatic or triggering experiences in small segments, until those memories no longer cause distress.

How Does EMDR Affect the Brain?

Our brains have a natural way to recover from traumatic memories and events. This process involves communication between different parts of the brain. When distress from a disturbing event remains, the images, thoughts, and emotions may create an overwhelming feeling of being back in that moment. EMDR helps the brain process these memories and allows normal healing to resume. The experience is still remembered but the emotions and feelings behind the experience are less disturbing.

How Long is Treatment?

EMDR therapy does not require talking in detail about the traumatic event. For many individuals, EMDR therapy can be completed in 6-12 sessions but can vary based on the severity of the traumatic event.

Who Could Benefit From EMDR?

A person who has experienced or are currently experiencing the following issues:

  • Anxiety, panic attacks, and phobias
  • Depression
  • Grief and loss
  • PTSD and other trauma or stress-related issues
  • Sexual assault
  • Substance use
  • Violence and abuse