EMDR Therapy: An Effective Tool for PTSD and More

EMDR Therapy, a picture of a black man smiling as he walks down the street. He is wearing headphones.

I talk to my clients frequently about the benefits of EMDR therapy. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and was created by Francine Shapiro. It has been widely documented and researched as a therapy that can help process trauma, build resilience and resourcefulness, and help individuals move through therapy more quickly then they would engaging in more traditional “talk” therapies.

How effective is EMDR therapy for PTSD?

What is EMDR therapy? How does it work? EMDR utilizes bi-lateral movement and can be accessed through eye movement, touch, or sound. By moving the eyes back and forth, we are able to tap into both hemispheres of the brain, and as a result, we can build new neuronetworks in the brain between past experience and the here and now. What does this mean? It means that now when I think about past traumatic experiences I am more apt to remind myself that I am fully in the present and no longer unsafe or overwhelmed. This bridging in the brain can help clients discharge symptoms much more quickly after participating in treatment. After clients complete EMDR, they will find that even if they are triggered or activated, they no longer feel the same level of intense emotion or reaction they once did. Most of my clients report significant reduction in symptoms after completeting EMDR.

How many sessions of EMDR do you need for PTSD?

EMDR therapy for PTSD is one of EMDR’s most significant contributions to the mental health field. In fact, it is used for verterans, sexual trauma survivors, people who have experienced recent traumatic events such as car accidents or natural disasters, and can also be used with clients who have experienced torture or chronic abuse. Due to the activation between both brain hemispheres, the caring attunement of the therapist, and the client’s willingness to engage in treatment, PTSD symptoms can be reduced in far fewer sessions than other forms of therapy. Many of my cleints receive the benefits after just one or two sessions, and many of them report significant relief after four to six sessions.

What symptoms does EMDR help with?

EMDR Therapy helps with symptoms related to trauma such as hyperarousal or extreme startle response. However, EMDR can help with panic attacks, depression, insomnia, and attention issues as well. EMDR therapy for anxiety is also beneficial. When clients first come to therapy they may or may not have specific memories or challenges they want to process through. Oftentimes, clients will identify symptoms that are bothering them such as insomnia or excessive worry about the future, and we can create EMDR “targets” based on what is causing them the most discomfort.

Although the benefits of EMDR can vary from person to person, most clients who try EMDR feel relief, greater resilience, and deeper insight into their internal process. This is because EMDR accesses deeper regions of the brain where trauma is stored and therefore allows individuals a powerful healing experience as they tap into their ability to process out trauma much more fully then what would be possible simply engaging in talk therapy.

Our therapists at Clear View Counseling & Consulting offer EMDR Therapy to clients dealing with symptoms related to trauma and other mental health challenges. For more information, or to book your free consultation click here.  You are not alone.


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3333 S. Wadsworth Blvd.
Lakewood, CO 80227

12835 East Arapahoe Road
Tower One, Suite P-850
Centennial, CO. 80112

1754 North Lafayette Street
Denver, CO. 80218

(970) 946-8737

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