EMDR, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, was first discovered by Francine Shapiro in 1987 and is now recognized as an effective form of treatment by The World Health Organization, The American Psychiatric Association, The Department of Veteran Affairs and Department of Defense. In short, an external stimulus is used, such as moving both eyes back and forth, hand tapping, or audio stimulation, to reduce the distress associated with past traumatic experiences.
EMDR is meant to leave you “feeling empowered by the very experience that once debased you or caused you distress.” (What is EMDR? (n.d.). Retrieved from
This therapeutic approach consists of 8 phases that your clinician will more thoroughly explain to you. In phase 1, we will initially determine your readiness and then develop a treatment plan. Then, we make sure you have several different ways to handle or cope with the distress throughout the process, whether it is by creating a “safe space” or by using imagery. Throughout phases 3-6 we help you to identify four important things:
The visual image related to the trauma.
A negative belief about self.
Related emotions and body sensations.
A positive belief.
Then, upon phase 7, we begin asking you to create a log or journal for the week. The following session, phase 8, is where we review and track your progress.