What happens during an EMDR session?
Therapist and client work together focusing on a specific problem for that session. The client will bring the event/issue to mind focusing on the entire experience; the image, current emotions, bodily sensations, sounds, etc., in addition to thoughts and beliefs that are currently held about that event/issue. Stimulations are administered to both sides of the brain via eye movements, sounds or pulsations (this is called bi-lateral stimulation). Bi-lateral stimulation is administered to the client while focusing on the event/issue and the client will notice what comes to mind without making any effort to control direction or content of their thoughts.
There is no way to do EMDR wrong! Each experience is unique; therefore the information processed is based solely on the client. The stimulation is continued until the memory becomes less disturbing and the client is able personalize positive thoughts and beliefs about oneself; for example, “I can succeed”.
During EMDR, clients may experience intense emotions but by the end of the session, most people report a great decrease in the level of distress.
What kinds of problems can EMDR treat?
|Sexual, Emotional, Physical Abuse||Addictions|
|Eating Disorders||Performance Anxiety|
How long does EMDR take?
Generally, the first 2-3 sessions are used to gain a better understanding of the problem(s) and to decide if EMDR is an appropriate treatment, offering a more thorough explanation and an opportunity to answer questions about EMDR. In addition, this time allows the client to build trust and a relationship with the EMDR therapist.
EMDR therapy is designated as an accepted treatment by:
- American Psychological Association (APA)
- Veterans Administration (VA)
- Department of Defense (DOD)
- Word Health Organiztion (WHO)
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
Mary Vixaisack received her Masters of Science degree in Counseling & Development in 2013 from Texas Woman’s University. She is licensed by the State of Texas as a Licensed Professional Counselor-Intern and Licensed Chemical Dependency Counseling Intern under the supervision of Shahidrah Cowgill, LPC-S. At the FFC Center, Mary specializes in EMDR Therapy and is currently accepting new clients.
*Information in this post was based on Dr. Francine Shapiro’s book Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR): Basic Principles, Protocols and Procedures, 2nd Ed. and www.emdria.org. To learn more about EMDR therapy visit www.emdria.org