What is EMDR Therapy?

EMDR or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy is a structured type of therapy that encourages the patient to briefly focus on the memory caused by a specific trauma while simultaneously experiencing bilateral stimulation (typically eye movements), which is associated with a reduction in the vividness and emotion associated with the trauma memories. EMDR therapy has proven that the mind can heal from psychological trauma. (https://www.apa.org/ptsd-guideline/treatments/eye-movement-reprocessing)

According to the APA, EMDR uses a structured 8 phase approach for treatment. The therapist begins with history-taking, then prepares the patient, finds the target memory causing trauma for the patient, works on processing the memory to adaptive resolution, and then finishes with evaluating treatment results. Unlike other treatments that focus on changing the emotions, thoughts and responses caused from trauma, EMDR therapy focuses directly on the memory, and is intended to change the way that the memory is stored in the brain, with a goal of reducing and eliminating the symptoms causing pain or challenges for the patient.  

If you are interested in learning more about EMDR Therapy, please view the Mental Health with Kati Morton video For more information on how the process of EMDR works check out this video or the animation video of how EMDR works. Your therapist at Columbus Behavioral Health may also be able to help you better understand how EMDR therapy works, or refer you to another provider for more information.

For more EMDR resources, please visit the following websites. 


If you or a loved one have been affected by trauma and would like to try EMDR therapy at Columbus Behavioral Health, visit our Provider Directory for a therapist that offers EMDR services. 

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