EMDR Therapy

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a psychotherapy approach designed to work with distressing or traumatic memories. Many psychological difficulties are the result of distressing life experiences which are not stored in your memory properly. These experiences are said to be unprocessed or blocked and need some help to become processed. EMDR is one way to accomplish that.

Negative emotions, feelings, and behaviors are generally caused by unprocessed or unresolved earlier experiences. The goal of EMDR therapy is to leave you with the emotions, understanding, and perspectives that will lead to healthy and useful behaviors and interactions. EMDR therapy helps your brain to process completely the experiences that are causing problems, and to include new ones that are needed for full health.

“Processing” does not mean talking about it. “Processing” means setting up a learning state that will allow experiences that are causing problems to be “digested” and stored appropriately in your brain. That means that what is useful to you from an experience will be learned, and stored with appropriate emotions in your brain, and be able to guide you in positive ways in the future. The inappropriate emotions, beliefs, and body sensations will be discarded.

What does EMDR therapy treat?

EMDR is a comprehensive approach and may be used to treat almost any symptom or disorder including:

  • PTSD and Complex Trauma

  • Panic Attacks

  • Anxiety

  • Depression

  • Phobias

  • Eating Disorders

  • Obsessions and Compulsions

  • Low Self Esteem

Many of our therapists at our Uptown Dallas, Rockwall, Plano, McKinney, and Denton, Texas locations are trained in EMDR. They are happy to explain the process more thoroughly and determine if EMDR would be the best treatment approach for you.

EMDR for Anxiety

With anxiety disorders, knowledge and understanding are key. The more you understand about your anxiety and where it originated, the more in control you feel. If you are suffering from an anxiety disorder, please reach out to us. One of our many highly skilled therapists can help you understand your anxiety, channel it constructively, and teach you how to control it so that you can live your best life.


What does an EMDR session look like?

After you and your therapist agree that EMDR therapy is a good fit and begin to work together, you’ll focus on a specific event. First, you’ll focus on a negative image, belief, and body sensations related to this event. Then, associate a positive belief that would indicate a resolution. While focusing on the event, your therapist will guide you through sets of side-to-side eye movements, sounds, or taps, prompting you to notice what comes to mind. You may experience shifts in insight or changes in images, feelings, and beliefs regarding the event. You have full control to stop at any point if needed. Eye movements, sounds, or taps are repeated until the event becomes less disturbing.

How many sessions will I need to attend?

The number of sessions you’ll need varies greatly depending on the type and complexity of the event. Your therapist may also use EMDR therapy in combination with other modalities.

Does insurance cover EMDR therapy?

Yes, as an evidence-based form of treatment, it is covered by insurance.

What ages are appropriate for EMDR?

The standard EMDR protocol is effective with teens and adults. There are additional protocols for therapists to integrate EMDR into Play Therapy, which allows them to treat children as young as three years old.

How do I qualify for EMDR?

Your therapist will assess your need for EMDR based on various factors, including your ability to tolerate distressing emotions, current substance use, symptoms, and coping skills. If your therapist believes you need more time before you are ready to engage in trauma-processing with EMDR, they will support you in learning ways to regulate emotions and cope with distressing events.

How long does treatment last?

Once the entire EMDR process is complete, you should experience permanent symptom reduction. Some individuals require additional EMDR later in life as more life events occur and need reprocessing.

What can I expect after an EMDR session?

EMDR therapy can impact people quite differently. Some individuals report no noticeable change immediately after an EMDR session, while others report an increase in dreams, thoughts, and emotions about the event they are reprocessing. You may experience feeling physically and emotionally “drained” at the end of an EMDR processing session. Your therapist will ask you to note any new thoughts, memories, dreams, emotions, or body sensations you experience between sessions to guide your next time together.

How often will I need EMDR?

EMDR is typically every week. However, it can still be effective every other week, with slower progress. Emerging research establishes the effectiveness of “EMDR Intensives” that involve administering EMDR therapy several hours a day for multiple days in a row.

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