top of page

What is EMDR?

EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. It is a therapeutic approach that is used to treat symptoms related to trauma and PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder). EMDR therapy involves the use of eye movements, tapping, or sounds to stimulate the brain's natural ability to process and heal traumatic memories.

During an EMDR session I will guide you through a series of eye movements or other bilateral stimulation techniques while you recall distressing memories. The idea is to help the brain reprocess the traumatic memory in a more adaptive way, allowing you to develop new insights and perspectives about the event and reduce the intensity of the emotional response when triggered.

EMDR therapy has been shown to be effective in treating a variety of conditions, including PTSD, anxiety, depression, phobias, and addiction. I invite you to meet with me for a free 15 minute consultation to determine if EMDR therapy is appropriate for you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There have been several studies conducted to examine the effectiveness of EMDR, and here are some key findings:

PTSD

Numerous studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of EMDR in treating PTSD. For example, a 2013 meta-analysis of 26 randomized controlled trials found that EMDR was more effective than control conditions and equally effective as other trauma-focused therapies.​​

  •  Shapiro, F. (2001). Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing: Basic Principles, Protocols, and Procedures (2nd ed.). Guilford Press.

  • Bisson, J. I., Roberts, N. P., Andrew, M., Cooper, R., & Lewis, C. (2013). Psychological therapies for chronic post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in adults. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2013(12).

  • Lee, C. W., & Cuijpers, P. (2013). A meta-analysis of the contribution of eye movements in processing emotional memories. Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 44(2), 231-239.

Anxiety

A 2016 review of 20 studies found that EMDR was effective in reducing symptoms of anxiety, including generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder, and social anxiety disorder.

  • Acarturk, C., Konuk, E., Cetinkaya, M., Senay, I., Sijbrandij, M., Cuijpers, P., & Aker, T. (2015). EMDR for Syrian refugees with posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms: results of a pilot randomized controlled trial. European Journal of Psychotraumatology, 6(1).

  • Davidson, P. R., & Parker, K. C. (2001). Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR): a meta-analysis. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 69(2), 305-316

  • Acarturk, C., Konuk, E., Cetinkaya, M., Senay, I., Sijbrandij, M., Cuijpers, P., & Aker, T. (2015). EMDR for Syrian refugees with posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms: results of a pilot randomized controlled trial. European Journal of Psychotraumatology, 6(1).
    Davidson, P. R., & Parker, K. C. (2001). Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR): a meta-analysis. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 69(2), 305-316. 

 

Depression

 Several studies have found that EMDR can be effective in reducing symptoms of depression, particularly when used in combination with other therapies such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT).

  • Pagani, M., Di Lorenzo, G., Verardo, A. R., & Nicolais, G. (2012). EMDR in the treatment of chronic phantom limb pain. Pain Medicine, 13(10), 1311-1316.

  • Hofmann, A., & Barlow, D. (2014). Evidence-based psychological interventions and the common factors approach: The beginnings of a rapprochement? Psychotherapy, 51(4), 510-513.

Other conditions: EMDR has also been studied as a treatment for a range of other mental health conditions, including phobias, addiction, and eating disorders, with varying levels of success.

Does this actually work?

EMDRIA badge.png
bottom of page