All About EMDR and How it Helps with Trauma

Trauma can severely impact the way we function in our daily lives. Even the simplest of tasks can be interrupted by intrusive, negative, and traumatic thoughts. Survivors of trauma know first-hand just how debilitating it can be.

There are various ways to cope with trauma, but Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy can be very effective. If traditional therapy has not worked for you in the past, EMDR may be the key to overcoming your trauma.

Let’s explore EMDR more in-depth — what it is, how it works, and how it can help you.

What is EMDR Therapy?

EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, and it is an interactive type of psychotherapy.

This unique form of therapy treats emotional and psychological stress and is especially beneficial for treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Though trauma survivors benefit from EMDR, it can treat other illnesses and issues as well. EMDR can treat depression, anxiety, eating disorders, panic attacks, and addiction.

How Does EMDR Therapy Work?

EMDR therapy typically occurs over several sessions or phases. First, you will meet with your therapist and review your history. Together, you and your therapist will evaluate your past and figure out the best course of action.

You will have to tell your therapist about your trauma and possibly delve into sensitive memories. By doing so, however, your therapist will be able to formulate a treatment plan that will work best for your needs.

Treatment Phases

Once you get into the treatment phase, your therapist will have you recount a specific memory. Not only will you think about it, but you will strongly focus on it. As you do so, your therapist will have you do certain eye movements. There are tools that can help provide the eye movement, whether you are online or in-person.

Your therapist will have you follow that as you recall your traumatic experience. Your therapist may incorporate sound elements, such as tapping, into the treatment as well.

You will tell your therapist about the spontaneous, immediate thoughts that pop into your head after focusing on your traumatic memory. Over time, EMDR therapy should help these negative thoughts and memories fade.

Instead of becoming distressed when you think of these memories, your brain will be able to refocus and stay calm. You may have to revisit the same memory several times, but the more you work with it, the less stressful it will be as time goes on.


After several treatment sessions, you will end with an evaluation. You will evaluate how the treatment helped you and how you feel differently than when you started. Your therapist will also offer input into how they think your treatment went.

Benefits of EMDR Therapy

EMDR is an effective treatment for PTSD, and many studies have proven its effectiveness. Trauma survivors can attest to its effectiveness, finding relief after months and years of suffering from PTSD.

EMDR therapy is safe and has long-term effects. EMDR therapy doesn’t work overnight, but it typically only takes 8-12 sessions from start to finish. With patience and commitment, EMDR therapy is a life-changing option for those with PTSD.

Seeking EMDR Therapy to Help with Trauma

Trauma is a complex issue, and everyone has different memories and experiences. EMDR therapy enables you to dive deep into the memory and find a way to cope with and move forward from it. You don’t have to continue to suffer from traumatic flashbacks and triggers.

Regain control of your life and find peace through EMDR therapy. You can learn more about EMDR on our EMDR Therapy page. And reach out today to begin your journey with EMDR and learn more about how it can treat your trauma.

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