EMDR is an acronoym for Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing Therapy. It is a psychotherapy treatment protocol created by Francine Shapiro, PhD that aims to target distressing memories. It has been found to be especially helpful in treating PTSD.


Is EMDR therapy an efficacious treatment for PTSD?

EMDR therapy is recognized as an effective trauma treatment and recommended worldwide in the practice guidelines of both domestic and international organizations including: American Psychiatric Association, The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), and World Health Organization.

What are the side effects?

As with any form of psychotherapy, there may be a temporary increase in distress.

  1. distressing and unresolved memories may emerge

  2. some clients may experience reactions during a treatment session that neither they nor the administering clinician may have anticipated, including a high level of emotion or physical sensations

  3. subsequent to the treatment session, the processing of incidents/material may continue, and other dreams, memories feelings, etc., may emerge.

How many sessions will it take?

The number of sessions depends upon the specific problem and client history. However, repeated controlled studies have shown that a single trauma can be processed within 3 sessions in 80-90% of the participants. While every disturbing event need not be processed, the amount of therapy will depend upon the complexity of the history. In a controlled study, 80% of multiple civilian trauma victims no longer had PTSD after approximately 6 hours of treatment. A study of combat veterans reported that after 12 sessions 77% no longer had post-traumatic stress disorder.

*Modified Content From: EMDR.com, 2022. Find out more here.

To learn more about EMDR Click Here. You can also purchase a copy of Getting Past Your Past a book written by the creater of EMDR, Francine Shapiro, PhD.