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What Exactly Is Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing?

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, or EMDR, is a form of psychotherapy that was originally founded to treat the effects that traumatic events and memories have on your brain. EMDR was founded in 1987 by Dr. Francine Shapiro. The process has been proven time and time again to be an excellent alternative to normal talk therapy treatments and takes significantly less time to experience the benefits.

The process of EMDR consists of eight different phases, named below:

Phase 1: Client history

Phase 2: Preparation

Phase 3: Assessment

Phase 4: Desensitization

Phase 5: Installation

Phase 6: Body scan

Phase 7: Closure

Phase 8: Reevaluation

The client and their therapist will go through each phase together throughout the session. EMDR is meant to encourage the “reprocessing” of harmful memories and each of these phases helps the patient do so.

During the desensitization phase, the client will be participating in eye movements or other bilateral stimulation (BLS) while intentionally thinking of the harmful memory or traumatic event. From there, the therapist will determine the focus of each set of BLS and guide you through the processing. This continues until the client determines that the memory is no longer distressing.

According to the EMDR Institute, there have been over 30 controlled outcome studies on this form of therapy. Some showed a success rate of 85-90% in single-trauma victims after only three 90-minute sessions. Another study was mentioned that concluded in 77% of combat veterans no longer experiencing PTSD after 12 sessions.

Keep in mind, every patient is different so there is no “average time” it takes to heal. Each session is between 60-90 minutes, and processing can take anywhere from 1 to several sessions to completely process.

EMDR is a great option to process past traumas or harmful memories. If you feel like traditional talk therapy isn’t working as quickly or as efficiently as you’d like, give us a call and schedule an appointment for your first EMDR appointment.

Learn more about Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing through the video below.

1200 630 Taylor Carter

Taylor Carter

Taylor Carter is a dynamic Senior Marketing Manager with a passion for crafting compelling narratives and driving impactful campaigns. She has been an integral part of the Hopemark Health team for the past two years. By combining industry insights and medical facts with a deep understanding of the patient experience, Taylor continuously seeks to uplift and empower individuals on their journey to well-being.

Article by: Taylor Carter