What is Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)?

What is Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing?

EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing and it is targeted psychotherapy created to help individuals recover from the emotional distress associated with traumatic events and negative life experiences.

There are eight phases of treatment during EMDR:

Phase one is the “History Taking” sessions. During phase two, the therapist ensures that the client has several different tools for managing emotional distress.

While in phase three through six a targetted memory is identified and processed.

It is important that a client identifies three things during these phases: a vivid visual image related to the memory, a negative belief about self and related emotions, and body sensations attached to the memory.

It is also important that a client identify a positive belief about self as this sets the goal for treatment.

Phase seven is closure, which includes the client keeping a journal in between sessions. And lastly, phase eight is creating a future template based on progress already made.

Watch other videos in this Psych in 60 series to learn more about Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing and leave your questions in the comments below!

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Jennifer Fights, NCC, LPC
Jennifer is a strengths-based clinician who is creative, compassionate and non-judgmental. She enjoys working with adolescents, adults, and families. When providing therapy, her special interests include working with trauma, PTSD, depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, and self-harming behaviors. Jennifer is also trained in EMDR and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) and incorporates these treatment modalities into her work when appropriate. In her work with adolescents specifically, Jennifer has expertise in behavioral disorders and defiance issues. When working with families, she strives to come alongside married and divorced parents alike, helping them effectively co-parent their children. Jennifer also helps children struggle well with difficult family circumstances. In addition, she enjoys integrating client’s faith with clinical treatment. As she feels strongly about educating and empowering others, Jennifer regularly provides training for fellow clinicians, non-profit organizations, parent and teen groups and educational institutions.


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