What is EMDR therapy?

What is EMDR therapy

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)? 

EMDR, short for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, is a highly effective guided movement therapy technique backed by scientific evidence. It is designed to “reprocess” painful memories, providing a safe and secure environment for individuals to recover from past traumas. This method involves a systematic approach, administered by qualified EMDR therapists, to gradually revisit and address traumatic events, memories, phobias, and fears over a series of sessions. 

EMDR timeline varies for each person 

The duration of EMDR treatment varies based on individual experiences. Factors such as the severity, frequency, and recurrence of traumatic events play a significant role in determining the pace of recovery. The comfort level of the individual in discussing their trauma or phobia also influences the speed of therapy. There is no fixed timeline, and progress is tailored to the individual’s comfort and readiness. It’s important to note that individuals have complete control over the EMDR process and can choose to stop it at any time. 

What to expect during an EMDR session? 

Before delving into the process of reprocessing trauma or phobias, it’s crucial to establish a comfortable rapport with your therapist. This typically takes a few sessions. The therapist will gather information about your past, your trauma, experiences, and assess your specific needs to create a personalized treatment plan. During this time, you and your therapist create a safety plan and develop self-soothing skills to help you learn how to relax and calm yourself.  

During an EMDR session, your therapist will utilize various movement techniques, which may include eye movements, physical tapping, listening to beeps in both ears, or holding vibrating balls in each hand. You will be guided to recall a traumatic event from your past, and you’ll be encouraged to express any thoughts associated with these memories. Throughout the process, the therapist maintains a deep awareness of your comfort level.  There will not be a lot of discussing or talking about your trauma during an EMDR session.  

With time, you will notice a reduction in anxiety related to these memories, granting you freedom from some of their debilitating effects. Multiple sessions may be needed to fully reprocess these memories. It’s important to understand that EMDR works towards reducing the negative emotions associated with memories, rather than erasing or deleting them from your brain. The ultimate goal is to help you feel calmer and more at ease with these recollections. 

If you or a loved one is seeking support in healing from past emotional wounds, trauma, or negative experiences through EMDR, please reach out to Family-Therapy in Ottawa/Kanata.