EMDR is short for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. It is a type of therapy that helps people heal from trauma and distressing life experiences. Such experiences can get locked in the brain with the original picture, sounds, thoughts, feelings and body sensations, even though the nervous system has the innate ability to heal. EMDR is designed to activate this natural healing process through alternating eye movements, sounds or taps. Your own brain is doing the healing and you are the one in control. It often alleviates or eliminates symptoms. You can find a short video about EMDR at


There are over two dozen randomized, controlled clinical studies, the “gold-standard” design of research studies demonstrating the effectiveness of EMDR therapy for problems related to past traumatic experiences. EMDR has been recommended as an effective treatment for PTSD by the American Psychiatric Association, the Departments of Veterans’ Affairs and Defense, the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, the National Institute for Clinical Excellence and the World Health Organization.

Advantages of EMDR

  • Often gentler and faster than other types of therapy

  • Does not require talking about past traumas or about feelings in detail

  • Highly effective for single incident trauma

  • Often no or little homework necessary

  • Tolerated by most clients, low drop-out rates

  • Can be a helpful brief adjunct to talk therapy when you feel stuck

  • Effects of treatment generalize across similar symptoms and experiences

  • One of the best researched therapies for trauma

  • Negative beliefs often shift on their own