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  • Writer's pictureAmy May

"Understanding EMDR Therapy: A Powerful Tool for Healing Trauma"

Updated: May 2

Person crouched in a ball with a thought bubble overhead looking confused
EMDR Therapy can assist with many different mental health experiences

EMDR therapy is garnering a lot of buzz out in the mental health world and it seems like most practitioners are offering it for their client's healing journey!

I am one such practitioner and I believe in the power of it to help folks start to feel better in their daily lives. I don't make this claim as a counsellor who has studied and used it with others, or rest solely on the evidence-based science which backs it up.

I speak about this through my lived own experience. I too have undergone the process of using EMDR to help me resolve past trauma and negative beliefs and I continue to use it today.

What is EMDR therapy all about?

Listing of the 8 phases of EMDR therapy
8 Phases of EMDR Therapy

EMDR Therapy uses a phased approach to help guide the process and to ensure the best possible results for the client.

Each step through these phases gives us the building blocks to understand what your experience was and continues to be like. We look at the history of feeling the way you do and connect to key moments in your life and supporting stories.

The great thing about EMDR is we don't need to swim around in historic trauma to plan our path. We can give each difficult moment or story a "chapter title" or heading to acknowledge that it is a target we want to desensitize and resolve but the "talking" about the details is not required for us to do the work.

EMDR is evidenced-based and shows great promise in many areas where mental health concerns are negatively impacting the lives of people:

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.

There is no mistaking that EMDR is a powerful therapy which provides us with the means of getting to the root of triggers and belief systems that awareness alone won't change.

I think for myself, what I find so hopeful, is that if this is a tool that works for you (and for some its not) it can have a profound impact on your life. This is not about learning skills to relate differently to the trauma, it truly is about trauma or negative beliefs no longer being what drives you forward.

If you've tried other things and feel like you are still locked in the same old issues, feeling like therapy doesn't work, feeling like you just can't seem to "get passed" all of this, EMDR may be a good fit! Feel free to reach out and I can answer your questions with more detail!


Please note: Not all issues or mental health diagnosis are a good fit for EMDR therapy. This would be evaluated within the first Phase: Planning and History.


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