Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing is a psychological and therapeutic method designed to help individuals recover from the effects of an early or recent traumatic experience. It is used for treating emotional difficulties that are caused by traumatic events such as childhood and adult sexual/physical abuse, abandonment, illness and accident, etc. EMDR also treats combat stress, resulting from war, natural disasters and many others traumatic experiences.

EMDR is a complex method that brings together elements from well-established clinical theoretical orientations including psychodynamic, cognitive and behavioral approaches. EMDR utilizes eye movement, sound or pulsations to stimulate both hemispheres of the brain. Focusing on a distressful (or positive) experience along with bi-lateral stimulation, brings about changes in the brain, that, when completed, brings a state of balance.

The empirical evidence of EMDR effectiveness as a treatment for PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) has been acknowledged by several organizations including the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, American Psychological Association, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense, as well as various international health and government agencies.

Problems treated with EMDR

Scientific research has established EMDR as effective treatment for post-traumatic stress disorders and clinicians have also reported success in using EMDR in the treatment of the following
  • Phobias
  • Panic Attacks
  • Anxiety/Depression
  • Performance Anxiety
  • Sexual and/or physical Abuse
  • Combat stress
  • Complicated Grief
  • Stress reduction
  • Body Dysmorphic Disorders
  • Performance Enhancement


When a person experiences trauma, etc., the experience often overwhelms the brain and nervous system and the brain can't process the information or experience. There is a psychological reaction to the experience as being “frozen in time. The experience has been stored neurologically leaving the person with a variety of lasting negative symptoms including anxiety, depression, intrusive thoughts or hyper-arousal reactions, among other symptoms.

EMDR, with the help of bilateral stimulation (eye movement, sounds, taping, as some examples), stimulates the accessing of the traumatic memory network so that the information processing is activated, with new associations forged between the traumatic memory and the more adaptive information. EMDR has an impact on intrusive feelings, numbing and/or the hyper-arousal symptoms of PTSD, which can often follow traumatic events. EMDR seems to have a direct effect on the way the brain process information. Some people describe the process as putting together fragments of thoughts and memory into a cohesive whole.

After successful EMDR treatment, normal information processing is resumed, so there is a marked relief from the images, sounds and feelings of the original event. It is believed that the application of EMDR allows the clinician to facilitate the mobilization of the person's own inherent healing mechanism.


One or more sessions are required for us to understand the nature of the problem and to decide whether EMDR is the appropriate treatment.

A typical EMDR session lasts from 60 to 90 minutes depending on the type of problems, amount of trauma, etc. EMDR may be used within a standard “talking” therapy or as a treatment all by itself.

There are many factors that dictate the length of treatment, but in can run from a few sessions to as many as needed, depending on the person and life circumstances.


If your policy covers standard psychotherapy, it most likely will cover EMDR. Everyone's insurance is different so please refer to the information page regarding use of your insurance under the link in this website.


The EMDR International Association (EMDRIA) is a membership organization of Mental Health professionals dedicated to the highest standard of excellence and integrity in EMDR. It is the ongoing support system for EMDR trained practioners and provides the mechanism for the continued development of EMDR. Through EMDRIA, practitioners have access to the latest clinical information and research data on EMDR.

Please visit the link below for more detailed information.

EMDR International Association
5806 Mesa Drive, Suite 360
Austin, TX 78731