Friday, February 3, 2023
emdr therapists in phoenix, Arizona
emdr therapists in phoenix, Arizona

How Does EMDR Therapy Work for Trauma?


Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing is a non-traditional form of therapy to treat trauma. As you know, any disastrous event can cause trauma; it can affect an individual life drastically.

EMDR therapy is unlike talk therapy and doesn’t involve medications. Instead, it uses an individual’s bi-lateral stimulation (i.e. eye movement, tactile sensation, etc…) to reduce the impact of daunting memories. Talk therapies may shift your perception of a traumatic event, but EMDR therapy dampens the effect of memories on your brain. You get immune to disturbing thoughts. Want to explore what happens in EMDR therapy?

What happens in EMDR therapy?

You have to sit straight in a stable position; your therapist may ask you to recall a painful event and feel the emotion. A fterward, they will start the bilateral stimulation while the memory is being recalled which allows movement to a different part of the brain thus creating desensitization and reprocessing of that memory.

Post-sessions, you may find some reduction in stress, and after attending a few sessions, you may experience significant changes.

How effective is EMDR therapy?

Organizations such as WHO, APA, department of Veteran Affairs recognize EMDR therapy effective for reducing traumatic impact.  Read on to know how it impacts your brain.

The stress response is a normal phenomenon; a person either fights, flights, or freezes when encountering a difficult situation. In a post-traumatic event, an individual’s memories are frozen in time, and the brain develops a natural habit of recalling that distressing memory. EMDR therapy is designed to work on reprocessing those memories and associated brain activities. EMDR therapy helps to resolve the fight, flight, or freeze reactions to triggering situations.

Now, when you know a lot about EMDR therapy, let’s uncover its process.

What is the process of EMDR therapy?

Every EMDR therapist in Phoenix, Arizona, has a different approach to implementing EMDR therapy. But, the most common steps are mentioned below-

Step 1: Treatment planning

A therapist would like to know you a bit before starting the therapy. This will help the therapist to plan your treatment process accordingly. They may ask you a little history of trauma, for instance, how long you have been experiencing it, what is not tolerable for you, etc.

Step 2: Assessment

The next step of the process is assessment. Your therapist would ask you about your behavior on encountering events related to traumatic memory. Sometimes, there is a physical sensation because of certain traumatic memory, while others have panic attacks.

Step 3: Processing

As stated above, bilateral stimulation occurs until the reaction to the painful memory is abated or desensitized.

Step 4: Evaluation

In the final step, your therapist will evaluate the progress and re-plan your treatment schedule accordingly.


EMDR therapy can treat addiction, anxiety, depression, eating disorders, trauma, etc. Some people can choose medications and other therapy methods; however, EMDR proves to be one of the effective methods. Whenever you are looking for a trauma therapy practitioner in Phoenix, AZ, always go for a licensed person to work with a trained professional. You can ask the therapist to stop the process if you don’t feel comfortable.

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