How EMDR Therapy Can Enhance Trauma Healing Process

PTSD and other trauma-related disorders may cause symptoms that may hinder a person’s capacity to lead a full, normal life in the community. 

Most of the therapy procedures support people in dealing with traumatic events in their lives; however, now the focus is made on the so-called EMDR therapy, which has incredible outcomes in transforming the process of trauma recovery.

This form of treatment not only allows persons to address traumatic information in their information processing system but also get on with their lives.

What is EMDR Therapy?

EMDR therapy is an organized method of treatment that includes the components of several types of therapies. EMDR’s origins are attributed to Francine Shapiro in the latter half of the 1980s: EMDR was initially popularized for the amelioration of PTSD.

The therapy is that the patient views distressing stimuli and the therapist guides the patient’s eye movements. It is thought that the process of repeatedly seeing the stimuli changes the way that the brain handles particular information this lessens the emotional impact regarding the memories of the trauma.

How Does EMDR Work?

The principle by which EMDR therapy operates lies in what is known as the adaptive information processing theory. Psychological trauma can occur when the contents of an experience exceed the brain’s capability to handle the information input and thus store it inappropriately.

Such memories when retrieved result in other symptoms which are equally unpleasant due to the improper ways in which they were stored.

In EMDR therapy, the client follows with their eyes the therapist’s fingers or other objects; or the therapist taps the client or gives tones that guide the reprocessing of memories. Thus, the bilateral stimulation is believed to mirror the REM phase of the sleep where the brain consolidates received information. In this way, EMDR assists in altering the processing of the traumatic memories within one’s brain in order to reduce the development of distressing sensations.

The Cycles in EMDR

EMDR therapy is typically conducted over multiple sessions and follows an eight-phase protocol:

History Taking and Treatment Planning

From the case, the therapist tries to get as much information as possible about the client and selects certain memories that would be processed by EMDR.


Basically, the therapist educates the client on EMDR procedure and provides them with the sub modalities that assist them in holding off intense emotions.


The rating scale of the distressing memory and related negative beliefs are named and evaluated by the therapist and the client.


The stimulation of the client is based on redirecting their attention to the traumatizing event during bilateral stimulation. This phase goes on until the negative association with the memory is weakened.


The negative thoughts that are related to the traumatic event are replaced by positive ones about the self and the world.

Body Scan

The client looks over their body for any remaining muscular tension connected to the traumatizing event.


The therapist makes sure that the client is brought back to baseline and dealing with methods if required.


The roles of the patient are to arrange the session and therapist monitors the improvement and decides on a need for continuing session.

Benefits of EMDR Therapy

The method has been scientifically explored and has demonstrated its efficiency in treating a range of trauma diagnoses. Some key benefits include:

Rapid Results

Compared to the other forms of talk therapies, EMDR can bring about changes in a day, or within a few sessions at most.

Reduction of Symptoms

Clients claim that they experience fewer symptoms which include; flashback, anxiety, and depression.

Long-Lasting Effects

The effects of reprocessing that occurs in clients who undergo EMDR are usually long-lasting and many of the clients’ symptoms remain improved.


Something that is quite important to note is that EMDR does not entail the use of medication and therefore is not invasive.

Transforming Trauma Recovery

Thus, EMDR therapy provides an effective technique for managing the consequences of trauma. Hence, through restructuring the traumatic memories, EMDR restores normalcy in the victims’ lives, as well as diminishing the weight of the memory and trauma, thus enabling a recovery and progress.

Since the facilitators of EMDR were trained with professionals, the therapy’s availability and affectivity in treating trauma patients also widened.

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