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

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, or EMDR, is a powerful new psychotherapy technique which has been very successful in helping people who suffer from trauma, anxiety, panic, disturbing memories, post traumatic stress and many other emotional problems. Until recently, these conditions were difficult and time-consuming to treat. EMDR is considered a breakthrough therapy because of its simplicity and the fact that it can bring quick and lasting relief for most types of emotional distress. EMDR is the most effective and rapid method for healing PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) as shown by extensive scientific research studies. The EMDR therapy uses bilateral stimulation, right/left eye movement, or tactile stimulation, which repeatly activates the opposite sides of the brain, releasing emotional experiences that are "trapped" in the nervous system. This assists the neurophysiological system, the basis of the mind/body connection, to free itself of blockages and reconnect itself.

— Kimberly Krueger MSW, LCSW, Counselor in Davidson, NC

EMDR therapy is a way to overcome the impact of traumatic events. EMDR helps your brain reprocess what happened in the safety of the present, with me and when you are ready, without ever having to talk in detail about what happened. When the treatment is done, you will not forget what happened, but you will be able to remember it, when needed, without intrusive symptoms that you may be noticing now, like nightmares, anxiety, and avoidance.

— Dana Frederick, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Marietta, GA

EMDR is a unique and alternative form of psychotherapy designed to diminish negative feelings associated with memories of traumatic events. Unlike most forms of traditional psychotherapy, EMDR focuses less on the traumatic event itself and more so on the disturbing emotions and symptoms that manifest in your day-to-day s a result from the traumatic event.

— Jess Perez, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in West Hollywood, CA

EMDR therapy facilitates the accessing and processing of traumatic memories and other adverse life experience to bring these to an adaptive resolution and improved functioning. Overwhelming, negative emotions and beliefs are reformulated, thereby freeing a person to be the best and fullest expression of themselves. Your experience of trauma can truly be something of the past.

— Sonya DeWitt, Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Spokane, WA

I have training in Attachment-Focused EMDR, which addresses the things that happened to you when you were younger, that shaped who you are today. Sometimes these experiences are obvious, and sometimes they are more hidden. Did you get the message when you were a child that you needed to be perfect? That you were responsible for keeping everyone happy? That you were not important and should keep quiet and out of sight? AF-EMDR addresses these issues and frees you from their insidious message.

— Amy McManus, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Marina del Rey, CA

I am trained in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), which is an evidence based treatment for PTSD as well as several other concerns (e.g., developmental/attachment trauma, phobias, addiction, anxiety). I will be completing advanced training in Attachment-Focused EMDR in 2019.

— Carly Henderson, Licensed Professional Counselor in Portland, OR

I offer individual therapy for individuals facing post-traumatic stress from unresolved trauma, whether stemming from childhood or recent struggles. Together, through evidence-based treatments such as EMDR, we will use reflective exploration and pragmatic problem-solving to help you gain a deeper understanding of yourself and the tools needed to make the changes you desire.

— Danielle Powell, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Kingston, NY

Trained in EMDR through EMDRIA approved trainers.

— Denise Lee, Counselor in Orange, 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

I completed my EMDR training in November of 2018 and have been practicing extensively with additional EMDR consultation for the treatment of complex trauma. I am comfortable with the basics of EMDR, as well as the ways in which EMDR can be used to heal attachment wounds and dissociative disorders.

— Emily Kindschy, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Providence, RI

EMDR is a research-based method of treatment that is used for a wide variety of concerns, including trauma, eating disorders, anxiety, depression, and addiction. Using EMDR, the therapist leads the client through a series of eye movements (or tapping) that allows gentle resolution of the root cause of the problem.

— Heidi Dalzell, Clinical Psychologist in Newtown, PA

EMDR is an evidenced-based therapy that uses your own natural ability to heal! It is effective for a number of concerns and can produce quick and long-lasting results. I'm nationally certified in EMDR and my specialties include helping clients of all ages heal from childhood sexual abuse and neglect, assault, bad relationships, PTSD, dissociation, attachment issues, and trauma based on cultural identities and discrimination.

— Kaley Sinclair Jiawon, Counselor in Orlando, FL

EMDR is a form of therapy that helps people heal from trauma or other distressing life experiences. It does not require talking in detail about the distressing issue, or homework between sessions. EMDR, 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 'stuck' traumatic memories in the brain.

— Kevin Condon, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Atlanta, GA

When something disturbing happens it gets stored in the brain in a way that our human system feels that event is either going to happen again at any moment, or is happening now. When some event happens that may be similar or just has an element that reminds the system of that disturbing event, the brain reacts as if the original disturbing event is happening. EMDR helps to move the storage of that memory to a more functional part of the brain

— jan weber, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Bloomington, MN

EMDR is a somatic psychotherapy that utilizes bilateral stimulation such as eye movement or tactile signals to desensitize painful memories, relieve distress and change negative beliefs. EMDR therapy helps people release the emotional charge of painful experiences so that they are no longer triggered by reminders of those events. EMDR is the gold standard for treating trauma and its resulting PTSD, as well as lesser traumas that get replayed throughout life: rejection, failure, and loss.

— Ofra Obejas, Clinical Social Worker in Redondo Beach, CA

EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. It is an evidenced-based Psychotherapeutic model effective in treating trauma.

— Kendall Hagensen, Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Vancouver, WA

Since being trained in EMDR I have seen clients gain freedom from unwanted emotional and physiological responses. I heard someone describe EMDR this way, “I have all these files in my brain; the spouse file, friend file, career file. I don’t know where to slot my traumas so they have pieces in every file. After EMDR they now have their own file and I can access them when I want to or just let them stay in the file. My trauma no longer defines me.”

— Aimee Grimm, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Montrose, 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