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What is EMDR therapy?
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.
The American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs/Dept. of Defense, The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, and the World Health Organization among many other national and international organizations recognize EMDR therapy as an effective treatment. More specific information on treatment guidelines can be found on our EMDR and PTSD page.
How is EMDR therapy different from other therapies?
EMDR therapy does not require talking in detail about the distressing issue or
completing homework between sessions. EMDR therapy, rather than focusing on changing the
emotions, thoughts, or behaviors resulting from the distressing issue, allows the brain to
resume its natural healing process.
EMDR therapy is designed to resolve unprocessed traumatic memories in the brain. For
many clients, EMDR therapy can be completed in fewer sessions than other
How Long does it take?
Length of treatment varies depending on the client, the target (experience), and the commitment and cooperation of the client. Some clients are able to clear fairly significant traumatic incident in just a few sessions. Other clients continue therapy for years because they find benefit/value in continue to process/reprocess both past and current experience. I combine EMDR therapy with mindfulness/relaxation to maximize comfort and coping in general.
Does it hurt?
No, EMDR does not cause physical pain. Sometimes Ct will experience somatic discomfort when experiencing intense emotions. However, this is part of the healing process. If you think about it like physical injury, sometimes part of the healing process hurts. Healing the brain can cause some discomfort as well, but not in the form of physical pain.