EMDR Therapy

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing

About EMDR

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, or EMDR, is a powerful psychotherapy technique which has been very successful in helping people who suffer from trauma, anxiety, panic, disturbing memories, post traumatic stress and many other emotional problems. EMDR is considered a breakthrough therapy because of its simplicity and the fact that it can bring quick and lasting relief for most types of emotional distress.

EMDR is the most effective and rapid method for healing PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) as shown by extensive scientific research studies.

EMDR therapy uses bilateral stimulation, right/left eye movement, or tactile stimulation, which repeatedly activates the opposite sides of the brain, releasing emotional experiences that are “trapped” in the nervous system. This assists the neurophysiological system, the basis of the mind/body connection, to free itself of blockages and reconnect itself.

As troubling images and feelings are processed by the brain via the bi-lateral stimulation used with EMDR, resolution of the issues and a more peaceful state are achieved.

Questions About EMDR Answered

How Does EMDR Work?

During an EMDR session the therapist works gently with the client and asks him/her to revisit the traumatic moment or incident, recalling feelings surrounding the experience, as well as any negative thoughts, feelings and memories. The therapist then holds her fingers eighteen inches or more from the clients face and begins to move them back and forth like a windshield wiper. The client tracks the movements as if watching ping pong. The more intensely the client focuses on the memory and the physical sensations accompanying the memory, the easier it becomes for the memory to emerge and process. Images and somatic memories may arise during the therapy session and are processed resulting in painful feelings being released and the emergence of more peaceful, loving and resolved feelings. For clients who prefer other methods of bilateral stimulation, bilateral sounds, music or hand buzzers are available.

What problems can be addressed by EMDR?

The studies to date show a high degree of effectiveness with the following conditions:

• loss of a loved one
• injury of a loved one
• car accident
• fire
• work accident
• assault
• robbery
• rape
• natural disaster
• injury
• illness
• witness to violence
• childhood abuse
• victims of violent crimes
• performance and test anxiety
• trauma
• depression
• anxiety or panic
• phobias
• fears
• childhood trauma
• physical abuse
• sexual abuse
• post traumatic stress
• bad temper
• overwhelming fears
• panic attacks
• low self-esteem
• relationship problems
• brooding or worrying
• trouble sleeping

The EMDR technique is most effective when used in conjunction with other traditional methods of therapy in treating these and many other emotional disorders.

EMDR therapy can help clients replace their anxiety and fear with positive images, emotions and thoughts.

Is EMDR right for you?
There are a number factors to consider when evaluating the appropriateness of EMDR therapy for a client’s particular situation and history.

During your initial consultation with a trained EMDR therapist, all the relevant factors will be discussed in full to help you both come to a decision to move forward with EMDR.

Learn More about EMDR

To learn more, you can explore the following resources:



EMDR Essentials by Barb Maiberger, at http://maibergerinstitute.com

Frequently Asked Questions

You  may have questions. Have a look at our FAQs to see if others have had the same need for clarification.

Research & Links

Engage in self-learning by seeing our archive of valuable research and links to other organizations we value.

New Client Information

If you’re new to Riversage Family Counseling, this page may have the information you need.

Don’t Wait Any Longer. Let’s Talk About Finding Solutions Together!