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Eye movement Desensitization
& Reprocessing

What Is EMDR Therapy?

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy is an evidence-based approach to psychotherapy that helps people heal from distressing memories and traumatic experiences. EMDR aims to facilitate the reprocessing of these traumatic memories, thus reducing their emotional intensity and psychological impact.

EMDR can prove helpful for treating mental health issues as diverse as trauma, PTSD, OCD, anxiety, depression, grief, substance abuse, and eating disorders, to name a few. Through the use of bilateral eye movements, sounds, and tactile stimuli, EMDR treatment helps the brain reprocess and resolve the lingering negative effects of these experiences.

EMDR Counseling Can Be Highly Effective

After it was first developed in the late 1980s by Dr. Francine Shapiro, EMDR has gone on to see widespread adoption and practice in a variety of contexts. Many reputable organizations, including the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, and the World Health Organization, have repeatedly recognized EMDR as an effective treatment option for numerous mental health struggles.

In addition to its effectiveness, EMDR is also extremely versatile in its applications. Regardless of what you have experienced, EMDR can actively help you heal your body, mind, and spirit.

How Does EMDR Therapy Work?

EMDR involves an eight-step process that allows for flexibility in designing unique treatment plans and in making adjustments as the counseling process unfolds. By employing bilateral eye stimulation among other methods, in combination with other therapeutic approaches including talk therapy, EMDR helps to shift the thoughts and emotions associated with traumatic memories and experiences toward more positive, manageable ones.

In addition to the rapid eye movement and desensitization techniques, EMDR Therapy may also involve elements of more cognitive-driven approaches, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) or alternative practices like mindfulness.

When both the client and the counselor have agreed on a specific treatment approach, the client can begin the structured process of moving through the eight EMDR phases.

The Phases Of An EMDR Therapy Session

  • Phase 1 – History Taking. The first step in treating the client’s trauma involves the therapist helping them assess its roots and triggers.
  • Phase 2 – Preparation. Next, they work to build coping strategies for the distressing emotions and memories that might arise.
  • Phase 3 – Assessment. Then, they actively recall specific memories, beliefs, images, or sensations related to the traumatic memory or experience.
  • Phase 4 – Desensitization. The therapist then applies the relevant EMDR stimulation techniques while the client describes their thoughts and feelings.
  • Phase 5 – Installation. The therapist next helps the client shift these thoughts and feelings toward a more positive reframing of the experience.
  • Phase 6 – Body Scan. Then, the client and the therapist work together to locate and resolve any remaining negative emotions or sensations connected to the memory.
  • Phase 7 – Closure. The client is now ushered to return to a state of calm and balance through relaxation and debriefing techniques.
  • Phase 8 – Reevaluation. Finally, the client assesses their ongoing progress and adjusts their specific goals for the next session.

By moving through these phases during each therapy session, the client will gain a greater understanding of how their past trauma is still impacting them in the present. And they will learn effective coping strategies for managing symptoms and strong emotions so they can move forward with life.

Who Can Benefit From EMDR Therapy?

Because so many of our negative thoughts or emotions are rooted in past experiences, EMDR can be applied to a wide range of personal struggles. While trauma and PTSD are among the most common challenges addressed by EMDR, the practice is relevant to many other issues, from anxiety and depression to OCD and eating disorders.

If you are seeking hope for your recovery, we want you to know that healing is possible through EMDR Therapy with Renew Counseling. We have seen it happen with many clients and we are dedicated to building a relationship of trust with you by guiding you through the EMDR process and celebrating your progress along the way.

Why We Believe In EMDR Therapy

At Renew, we seek to help individuals resolve difficult and traumatic experiences through a holistic approach to counseling. EMDR Therapy provides us with a vital therapeutic option toward our goal of treating the whole individual. Through this evidence-based form of therapy, you can find relief from distressing symptoms, develop effective coping strategies, and also experience long-term positive changes in your emotional well-being.

We have been practicing EMDR since 2021—and some of us have been counseling for well over ten years. We decided to pursue EMDR while we were feeling stuck with some of our trauma clients and looking for a counseling modality that would work with both the mind and the body. From there, the results have spoken for themselves as we have seen client after client make real progress with their counselor through the practice of EMDR.

EMDR Therapy Can Help You Take Concrete Steps Toward Real Change

If you are interested in exploring the many healing benefits of EMDR Therapy, please call us at 903-386-3824 or utilize our contact page to set up a complimentary, 15-minute consultation.

Certified Counselors

Justin Robinson

Justin Robinson is currently our sole counselor certified to administer EMDR in counseling though we are working on expanding the certification across our team! 


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