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.

Meet the specialists

EMDR is becoming widely used to treat trauma. This method helps the body reveal what has long since been hidden from our consciousness related to past trauma or painful events. This can keep us feeling stuck, anxious & depressed in a every day. Chronic overwhelming feelings often indicate the body is working hard to manage outward stress/experiences while managing inward fears from the past. It is possible to feel more safe & at ease in your body as well as move forward in your life.

— Kathleen Thompson, Licensed Professional Counselor in Portland, OR

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) uses a set of procedures to organize your negative and positive feelings, emotions, and thoughts, and then uses bilateral stimulation (eye movements or alternating tapping) as the way to help you effectively work through those disturbing memories or trauma experiences.

— Blanca Estela Amaya, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Pasadena, CA

I laughed hysterically the first time I experienced the full effects of EMDR because I could not believe it worked so well on me, but it did! 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.

— Kenneth Nelan, Licensed Professional Counselor in Mequon, WI

I would like to write a love letter to EMDR. I love that it allows people to process big and little traumas quickly, with the client being in control, without having to discuss every detail. I love that it instills so much hope and positivity. I love that it can be done remotely and in person. I love that it is the brain healing itself. 💜🤓💜

— Stephanie Lessmeier, Licensed Professional Counselor in St. Peters, MO

I'm a certified EMDR Practitioner.

— Dr. Lili Wagner, Psychologist in , CA

Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing is an evidence-based therapy that was originally created for trauma. However, it is now used to unravel negative memories and to rewire neural pathways in the brain for a variety of issues. EMDR works by extricating those distressing memories so that while the memory still remains, it no longer triggers the same physiological responses in the body (anxiety, anger, panic, fear). You don't have to live with fear, anxiety or confusion anymore.

— Ashley Evans, Licensed Professional Counselor Associate in Dallas, TX

EMDR is a bodymind process of moving what is stuck in the brain into normal adaptive functioning. For appropriate clients, it can work faster than talk therapy and work at a deeper level. This paves the way for other therapies like CBT to work with less resistance.

— SHANE HENNESEY, Licensed Professional Counselor in Richmond, TX

I am certified in EMDR through EMDRIA, EMDR's international parent association. I am currently working towards my second-level certification in EMDR.

— Carolyn Solo, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Lafayette Hill, PA

EMDR is an evidence-based practice that is highly effective in treating individuals with single-episode and complex PTSD. This allows you to re-process your traumas while minimizing the risk of re-traumatization. It still bewilders me to see how effective this practice is, and I absolutely love seeing the results!

— Sam Weiss, Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Are you struggling with symptoms that just won't go away no matter what you do? EMDR can help. EMDR is an evidenced based treatment for Trauma that can help with a variety of mental health concerns including Depression, Anxiety, PTSD and Addiction. Many people may not feel that they are traumatized from life's experiences, but they likely have experienced some difficult things that have shaped their beliefs about themselves. EMDR can help you process these experiences and heal.

— Jennifer Leupp, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Long Beach, CA

I use EMDR to help with trauma resolution. EMDR can help to unlock and resolve trauma that has been trapped in the body. It can help individuals get unstuck and move forward to more healthy behavior and emotional reactions.

— Barbara Christian, Marriage & Family Therapist in Long Beach, CA

Completed 20+ hours of basic EMDR training.

— Colleen Steppa, Therapist in Phoenix, AZ

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is often very effective in counteracting distress caused by traumatic and otherwise upsetting life experiences; counteracting specific fears; and can be useful in reducing anxiety based addictive cravings. Dr. Brooks has been able to help many suffering people with EMDR therapy and would be delighted to help you feel better, more confident and remove flashbacks and triggers from unpleasant events.

— David Brooks, Clinical Psychologist in Bismarck, ND

I have been trained in EMDR and am currently in the certification process. I receive bi-monthly consultation for EMDR in order to continue strengthening my skillset and expertise.

— Shelby Chantilly Alkire, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in , CA

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a modality that uses bi-lateral stimulation to help clients reprocess significant events/feelings/sensations in order to make those experiences less distressing. In other words, it can really help clients reduce the emotional impact of certain memories. Bi-lateral stimulation has proven to be a valuable tool to help regulate the nervous system, and can also help with anxiety and panic issues.

— Marie Sloane, Associate Professional Counselor in Scottsdale, AZ