What is EMDR therapy?

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy is a well-researched and evidenced-based mental health intervention found to be effective for a range of mental health concerns.

How long is EMDR therapy? How long does EMDR take?

A typical EMDR therapy session is weekly for 60 minutes, although 90 minute sessions are available. If you would like to schedule a session longer than 60 minutes please contact me to discuss this option. The length of treatment depends on what you want to focus on. Sometimes clients can resolve a negative belief or memory in just a few sessions, other times (usually with more complex trauma, or more things to focus on) it can take longer. EMDR therapy is a phased approach, and each client is unique. Some clients move through phases quicker than others. Your brain and body will guide you as you are ready and we will support you every step of the way.

Is EMDR right for me?

EMDR may be helpful if you’re struggling with:

Panic Attacks
Sexual Assault
Self Esteem Issues
Distressing Life Events
Caregiver Trauma and Fatigue

Childhood Trauma
Secondary or Work-Related Trauma
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Chronic Illness and Medical Issues
Performance Anxiety
Grief and Loss
Sleep Disturbance (trouble falling or staying asleep, or
Negative Thoughts About Yourself
Worries for the Future

I provide EMDR online with audio bilateral stimulation.  You will need to have headphones and use them so that you hear the sound in the left ear and the right ear separately.  Tactile bilateral stimulation is available online, and will require that you purchase the tappers.  Visual bilateral stimulation is available if you use a computer screen, but it will not work if you use a smartphone or tablet for online therapy. 

Bilateral stimulation, sometimes also called dual attention stimulus, is a rhythmic sensory pattern that crosses the body on alternating sides, and repeatedly activates opposite sides of the brain. You might unknowingly do some of this throughout your day – walking, running, alternating tapping hands or swaying your body when you’re listening to music are all examples of bilateral stimulation!

We apply this motion intentionally during some phases of EMDR therapy to help your brain reprocess maladaptive material and make it more adaptive.  In EMDR, the bilateral stimulation is traditionally eye movements (hence the name of the treatment), but we can also use other body movements and sensations that are done while you’re reprocessing a negative memory. This technique allows the brain to move through distressing material while remaining in the present moment.

No. Hypnosis aims to achieve an altered state of deep relaxation. EMDR sessions begin with intentionally connecting to negative emotions, so your brain can repair the associated memory.

Hypnosis focuses on continuing to remain in a single state of deep relaxation. In EMDR, your clinician will help you maintain a dual awareness of the present moment while you’re recalling distressing memories and sensations.

How is EMDR different from other types of therapies?

EMDR does NOT require talking in depth about your memories.

Talk therapies primarily engage your brain’s prefrontal cortex – which isn’t bad; That’s useful for lots of things. However, talking (engaging the prefrontal cortex) is simply not as effective at resolving traumatic or overwhelming memories because it’s not engaging the part of the brain where the trauma memories are stored.


Twenty-four randomized controlled trials support the positive effects of EMDR therapy in the treatment of emotional trauma and other adverse life experiences relevant to clinical practice.

Seven of 10 studies reported EMDR therapy to be more rapid and/or more effective than trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy.

Twelve randomized studies of the eye movement component noted rapid decreases in negative emotions and/or vividness of disturbing images, with an additional 8 reporting a variety of other memory effects.

Numerous other evaluations document that EMDR therapy provides relief from a variety of somatic complaints.

Contact me for a free 15 minute phone consultation to discuss if EMDR is right for you.