top of page


Developed in the late 1980s by psychologist Francine Shapiro, PhD, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) has gained increasing recognition in recent years as an effective, evidence-based treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).


EMDR therapy is a structured psychotherapeutic approach primarily targeting individuals who have undergone distressing traumatic events. The core concept behind EMDR is the notion that traumatic memories, when left unprocessed, can become "stuck" in the brain, leading to a spectrum of emotional and psychological challenges. Individuals who have experienced trauma often find themselves revisiting past events mentally, experiencing disruptions in their daily lives. These unresolved memories may manifest as anxiety, depression, PTSD, or other trauma-related conditions.


In an EMDR session, the therapist guides the patient through standardized procedures designed to stimulate bilateral brain activity. Bilateral stimulation can be achieved through various methods, with eye movements being the most commonly utilized. Unlike other therapeutic approaches that directly target emotions, thoughts, and responses stemming from traumatic experiences, EMDR therapy focuses on altering the way memories are stored in the brain, thereby diminishing and eliminating problematic symptoms. Furthermore, EMDR therapy operates within a time-limited framework.


This treatment follows a structured eight-phase approach across multiple sessions until symptoms are fully resolved. These phases encompass history taking and treatment planning, preparation and explanation of treatment, memory activation, and desensitization, installation of desired cognitive perspectives, addressing residual physical disturbances, session closure, and ongoing patient assessment to ensure treatment progress and goal attainment.


EMDR therapy is ideally suited for individuals who have endured various forms of trauma, whether from a single distressing event or a series of cumulative experiences. Trauma can manifest in diverse forms, including physical or emotional abuse, bullying, accidents, combat exposure, natural disasters, or sudden bereavement. Additionally, individuals who have endured prolonged emotional neglect or witnessed traumatic events may derive benefit from EMDR therapy.


While not all trauma survivors develop PTSD, those grappling with intrusive thoughts, hypervigilance, nightmares, and other disruptive symptoms often find relief through EMDR therapy.

bottom of page