FAQs and Myths

What is EMDR therapy?

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapy is a type of psychotherapy that helps people heal from the symptoms and emotional distress caused by traumatic or upsetting experiences. It was developed by psychologist Francine Shapiro in the late 1980s.

What makes EMDR different from traditional talk therapy?

During an EMDR session, the therapist guides the client through sets of eye movements or other forms of bilateral stimulation, such as tapping or auditory cues. These bilateral stimulations help the brain process upsetting memories and emotions more effectively.

In an EMDR session, the therapist and client work together to identify distressing memories or experiences that are causing problems in the present. The client then focuses on these memories while simultaneously engaging in bilateral stimulation. It is believed this process helps the brain reprocess the memories in a way that mimics REM

sleep, allowing the client to develop new insights, emotions, and perspectives about themselves and their life. 

What can EMDR help with?

EMDR therapy has been shown to be effective in treating a wide range of issues, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, phobias, eating disorders, grief, chronic pain and more. It can also help improve self-esteem and interpersonal relationships by addressing underlying trauma and negative beliefs.  EMDR can help individuals move towards healing and a greater sense of well-being.

Does EMDR have to be done in person?

Doing EMDR virtually is now an effective and convenient option thanks to HIPPA-compliant platforms that are specifically designed for EMDR therapy.  You and your therapist can decide together if this is an appropriate option for you.

What is the process of EMDR therapy like?

EMDR therapy is not just about eye movements or bilateral stimulation.  There are 8 phases of EMDR Therapy…

Myths About EMDR Therapy: Debunking Misconceptions

Fact: Despite misconceptions, EMDR therapy does not involve hypnosis or mind control. It is a structured psychotherapy approach that helps individuals process and resolve traumatic memories through bilateral stimulation and cognitive techniques.

Fact: While eye movement is a common form of bilateral stimulation used in EMDR therapy, it is not the only method. Alternatives like hand tapping or auditory cues are also effective. The focus is on facilitating memory reprocessing, not just on eye movements.

Fact: EMDR therapy is not a quick fix or instant cure for trauma-related disorders. It is a process that requires time, commitment, and collaboration between the therapist and client. Healing from trauma is a journey that varies in duration for each individual.

Fact: EMDR therapy does not create false memories. It aims to help individuals process and integrate existing memories in a more adaptive and manageable way. The therapist guides the client through recalling and reprocessing memories already present in their consciousness.

Fact: While EMDR therapy involves revisiting distressing memories, the process is not intended to retraumatize individuals. Therapists are highly trained to use techniques to ensure clients feel safe and supported throughout the process, minimizing distress and promoting healing.