What does EMDR stand for?
EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing. It was originally developed by Francine Shapiro in 1988 and has since grown in its use as an evidence-based modality of treatment to help individuals with a variety of mental health challenges.
What is EMDR Therapy and how does EMDR Therapy Work?
EMDR is a type of psychotherapy that utilizes rapid eye movement (or other forms of bilateral stimulation, such as tapping or EMDR remote devices) to help challenge maladaptive beliefs and strengthen desired adaptive outcomes. EMDR organizes negative and positive emotions and thoughts to reduce the vividness of distressing traumatic experiences and then provides opportunities with bilateral stimulation to work through distressing memories or beliefs.
What Can I Expect in an Initial EMDR Session?
Like most forms of psychotherapy, the first step in EMDR is developing a treatment plan. Once an identified target has been agreed upon with your therapist, you will work together to develop a Target Sequence Plan and resourcing strategies to assist you in processing difficult thoughts, feelings, and beliefs over the course of therapy.
EMDR may be used in conjunction with other forms of psychotherapy to help you achieve the best results. The length of treatment with EMDR can depend on the complexity of the presenting concern but on average may take between six to twelve sessions. These sessions may be condensed into multiple visits per week or spread out over a larger period of time depending on you and your therapists discussions about treatment.
Your therapist may encourage you to access EMDR therapy worksheets, resourcing strategies, and psychoeducation outside of sessions in an effort to best help support your psychotherapy treatment.
For text-to-speech users, view our more accessible infographic.