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

I completed my basic training in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) from an EMDRIA approved consultant, Dr. Philip Manfield. In my experience with offering this treatment, I've seen my clients move past "stuck" areas in their life as a result of trauma or relational harm.

— Kristen Rix, Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Vancouver, WA

We have providers at our clinic who are highly trained in EMDR, a highly effective treatment for trauma and stress related concerns. EMDR has also been effective with panic, anxiety, depression, and OCD. We would be happy to speak with you to determine if EMDR could be a good fit for you and your needs. Our EMDR clinicians have additional advanced EMDR and Dissociation training to be able adapt the EMDR to best fit your needs.

— Mindful Way Counseling, Clinical Social Worker in Fridley, MN

Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing or "EMDR" is extremely helpful Research has shown EMDR therapy to be effective in treating PTSD, depression, anxiety, addiction and more. EMDR helps you process through debilitating thoughts and beliefs you've struggled with as a result of past experiences. EMDR helps get "stuck" memories "unstuck" so that you can move on with your life and stop living in the past.

— Julie Holburn, Counselor in Boulder, CO


— Melanie Taylor, Counselor in Fort Smith, AR

Not only did I receive my EMDR training through a program approved by the International Association aka EMDRIA, I have gone above and beyond the basic training standards. I have, and continue to engage in consultation towards certification examining how I can continue to build and expand my skillset in this model. I use EMDR with all clients to some degree or another and integrate useful EMDR assessments and interventions to provide added support for clients in their healing.

— Lisa Seid, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Fort Lauderdale, FL

Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is a fairly new, nontraditional type of psychotherapy. EMDR is a psychotherapy that enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing life experiences. At Livewell we are trained and certified in using this therapeutic approach to help people who suffer from trauma, anxiety, panic, disturbing memories, post traumatic stress and many other emotional problems.

— Livewell Behavioral Health, Marriage & Family Therapist in Fresno, CA

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing can be used to create new ways of responding to events or stimuli that impact our well being due to traumatic experiences.

— Allison Rice, Counselor in San Luis Obispo, CA

I am certified in EMDR and have found this modality to be effective in uncovering how the negative thoughts, body sensations, and emotions around distressing events have impacted an individual over time. EMDR helps process difficult experiences while providing safety and coping strategies.

— Morgan Grace, Psychotherapist in Austin, TX

This modality is wonderful after clients go through the phases of regulation, stabilization, and resourcing on a trauma treatment plan. It's a transformative experience if applied at the right time and in the correct way.

— Antonieta Contreras, Therapist in NEW YORK, NY

We can changes our thoughts, feelings and behavior. Ninety to ninety five percent of our thinking is not conscious; we are not aware. Much of what we think, feel, and do is beyond our ability to change with will power. Yet there are skills we can learn to change how we think and feel. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing has been around since 1987. It is used all over the work to teach people to cam themselves and change unwanted habits.

— Daniel Davis, Counselor in Santa Clara, CA

EMDR, when done effectively, can be a profound remedy for shock trauma often resulting in PTSD. Preparedness for this includes the development of a contemplative practice, in order to allow the mind to truly roam the matrix of meaning, and the embodiment of the client. My skill in both these areas, honed in supervision groups and advanced trainings, including those with Dr. Shapiro, allow my clients to experience considerable benefit.

— Inga Larson, Counselor in Denver, CO

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

I am an EMDRIA Approved EMDR Therapist. EMDR is a healing journey. With EMDR, we search out the unresolved memories tied to your current symptoms or discomfort. Then one by one, we revisit them and have another chance to understand them, and resolve them in a prepared non overwhelming way.

— William Portis, Licensed Professional Counselor in Bloomington, IL

In additional to conventional EMDR, I utilize additional protocols for birth/preverbal trauma, craving/urges, affective reset. When working to release trauma held in the body, I often find it less distressing to use a somatic, body-led approach rather than focus on images and story. What's most important is to find the path that best fits your need for resolution and growth.

— Shelly Melroe, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Shoreview, MN

I have completed EMDR basic training.

— Crystal Nesfied, Counselor in Phoenix, AZ

EMDR is a unique process of bilateral brain stimulation using eye movements or tapping, that helps the brain process painful memories much faster than with talk therapy alone.

— Rachele Epp, Counselor in Fort Myers, FL

I love all aspects of EMDR and find the outcomes superior to other trauma modalities. In addition, I use the Flash Technique when needed to bring a disturbance down to a manageable level so that we can process using the full protocol thereafter.

— Niki Saigeon, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Colorado Springs, CO

I used EMDR for my own trauma and then was so impressed I had to learn it to offer my clients. I love using EMDR and it is possible to do this online/remotely as well.

— Beth Erlander, Licensed Professional Counselor in Boulder, CO

I completed EMDR training in 2016 and have been using the technique in my practice ever since. I have also completed workshops on special topics in EMDR and continue to grow my skills as often as possible.

— Lacey Stewart, Counselor in Albuquerque, NM

I am trained to Level II in EMDR by Francine Shapiro and have practiced this therapy for many years. I use EMDR extensively to treat a wide variety of traumas, and I also use approved therapeutic offshoots of EMDR to address compulsive behaviors, dissociated parts of oneself, and other special issues. I am careful to enhance your strengths and sense of safety, and work with you on the issues that you would like to resolve.

— Melissa Owens, Counselor in Portland, OR

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is one of the most effective treatments for trauma. Repeated studies show that by using EMDR, people can experience the benefits of psychotherapy that once took years to make a difference. EMDR training consists of Level 1, Level 2 and Certification. Then, providers could become a consultant or trainer to other professionals. I am a Certified EMDR provider.

— Christine Babinec, Licensed Professional Counselor in Beaverton, OR

Full training in EMDR and specialized training in child and adolescent EMDR training to level 2. Use of EMDR with adults, adolescents and children since 2012.

— Robyn Holmes-Cannon, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in , CA

As of Feb 2018 I will be certified in EMDR to help those with past traumas and for whom traditional talk therapy is not sufficient. EMDR addresses trauma by helping the brain reprocess by using bilateral stimulation, and is a proven and effective trauma treatment.

— Linnea Logas, Counselor in Minneapolis, MN

EMDR, or eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, is a powerful, evidence-based therapeutic tool that has been proven effective for relieving symptoms of trauma as well as other mental health issues. Unlike traditional “talk-therapy”, AF-EMDR therapy (Attachment-Focused EMDR) focuses on the client’s processing that takes place in the subconscious brain, and less about communicating in the prefrontal cortex, or conscious brain. Often, rationalization and denial get in the way, keeping clients stuck when change and healing want to occur. AF-EMDR bypasses these roadblocks, allowing access to the root cause that is keeping the client stuck and a felt sense of change and healing to emerge.

— Kevin Stolper, Marriage & Family Therapist in Santa Monica, CA