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What is EMDR Therapy?



EMDR Therapy is an evidenced based treatment for trauma and other symptoms such as anxiety and depression. EMDR Therapy is recognized as an effective form of treatment for trauma and other disturbing experiences by organizations such as the American Psychiatric Association, the World Health Organization, and the Department of Defense.


EMDR Therapy is a robust comprehensive 8 phase psychotherapy model that includes history taking, resourcing and stabilization, assessment, desensitization, installation, closure, and reevaluation.


EMDR Therapy can treat most presenting issues such as PTSD, Anxiety, Depression, Pain, loss, and can assist in the recovery of physical injury and illness. Relational EMDR Therapy incorporates exquisite attunement and incorporates relational interweaves to help a person heal from significant neglect and attachment injuries.

How EMDR Therapy Works:

EMDR Therapy aims to help the brain process and integrate traumatic memories in a more adaptive way. During an EMDR session, the therapist will guide the client through a series of eye movements, taps, or sounds, while the client focuses on the traumatic memory. The eye movements, or other forms of bilateral stimulation are thought to help the client process the memory by activating both the left and right sides of the brain. The therapist will help the patient to notice any thoughts, emotions, or physical sensations that arise during the process, and work with the patient to reframe negative beliefs and develop more adaptive coping strategies.

The Eight Phases of EMDR Therapy:

  • History-taking and Preparation

  • Assessment

  • Desensitization

  • Installation

  • Body Scan

  • Closure

  • Re-evaluation

  • Integration

What EMDR Can Treat:

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapy is a psychotherapy approach that has been found to be effective in treating a range of mental health conditions including, but not limited to: PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder), Anxiety Disorders, Depression, Phobias, Addiction, Eating Disorders, Chronic Pain, amongst others.

History of EMDR:

EMDR was developed in the late 1980s by Psychologist Francine Shapiro. Shapiro was talking a stroll in the park when she noticed that her own negative thoughts and emotions began to dissipate as her eyes moved rapidly back and forth. Shapiro began to explore this observation further and developed a therapeutic approach based on eye movements, which she called Eye Movement Desensitization (EMD).

Shapiro presented her findings at a conference in 1989 - and the approach gained popularity quickly. The technique was later refined to include other types of bilateral stimulation, such as tapping or sounds, and the name was changed to EMDR.

EMDR initially gained popularity as a treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) but has since been used to treat a variety of mental health conditions. In 1995, the American Psychiatric Association recognized EMDR as an effective treatment for PTSD, and in 2004, the World Health Organization recommended EMDR as a first-line treatment for trauma.

Over the years, EMDR has undergone rigorous scientific study, and research has found it to be effective in treating various mental health conditions. Today, EMDR is widely recognized as a valid and effective form of psychotherapy.

The Research on EMDR:

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapy is considered an evidence-based practice for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) by several reputable organizations, including the World Health Organization (WHO) and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Numerous randomized controlled trials, meta-analyses, and systematic reviews have demonstrated the effectiveness of EMDR therapy for PTSD and other conditions, such as anxiety, depression, and phobias. Additionally, EMDR therapy has been found to be as effective (if not more) as other established treatments for PTSD, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and exposure therapy.

EMDR therapy has also been recommended as a first-line treatment for trauma by several national and international organizations, including the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in the United States.

For the latest research visit Recent Research about EMDR - EMDR International Association (

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