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  • Writer's pictureAmy May

Answering Common Questions About EMDR Therapy


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EMDR Therapy FAQ


This post is dedicated to commonly asked questions I receive about EMDR therapy! Hopefully it will give you a better sense of what this is all about!


If you have further questions please feel free to reach out to me via email: amy@amymaycounselling.com or phone: 705-304-1626!






How many sessions does EMDR Therapy it take?


Everyone is different! Depending on the severity of your history and the length of time we need to do our resourcing work it can be anywhere from 6 sessions (for something like a single critical incident - like a car crash that continues to cause triggering) to more complex work done in under a year. There really is no accurate barometer in this sense. What we do know is the EMDR has been proven to significantly cut down on the time a person takes to heal from the issues brought forward (so long as they are EMDR appropriate)


The goal is not to deal with the behaviour but, the underlying negative belief system holding that behaviour or feeling in place. It’s a process of healing the root issue instead of trying to just adjust the undesirable behaviour. This is the fundamental difference between EMDR and other therapies.


What do you do in a session? 


During an EMDR therapy session, the therapist guides the client through eight structured phases: history taking and treatment planning, preparation, assessment, desensitization, installation of positive beliefs, body scan, closure, and reevaluation. The client identifies a target memory or distressing event to focus on, holds it in mind while engaging in bilateral stimulation, and works to process and reprocess the memory. Positive beliefs are strengthened, and the client checks in with their body to assess any remaining distress before ending the session with closure. Subsequent sessions may involve reevaluation and further processing as needed to address remaining symptoms or targets.


What is bilateral stimulation?


It involves stimulating both sides of the brain simultaneously through alternating sensory input, such as side-to-side eye movements, auditory tones (heard through headphones), or tactile sensations (felt through alternating taps on the hands or knees). This bilateral stimulation is thought to mimic the natural processing of information during Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep, facilitating the reprocessing of distressing memories and reducing their emotional intensity.


Who doesn’t EMDR benefit?


While EMDR therapy can be highly beneficial for many individuals, it is essential to consider individual circumstances, needs, and readiness before recommending or engaging in EMDR therapy. This is why I do a thorough assessment before getting started to help determine whether EMDR therapy is appropriate and beneficial for a particular individual to participate in.

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