What is EMDR Therapy

EMDR, “Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing,” is a therapy that helps people get over traumatic events. It treats post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other mental health problems like anxiety and depression.

Francine Shapiro made EMDR for the first time in the 1980s. Bilateral stimulation is used in the therapy. Eye movements, taps, or tones stimulate both sides of the brain.

Some things are too big, painful, or shocking for a person to deal with alone. So, EMDR therapy can help a therapist help the person “reprocess” this event. 

The experience may remind someone of other bad things that have happened to them. The event is shocking or overwhelming. This is when EMDR therapy can be used to get our natural way of dealing with things going again. EMDR therapy lets the overwhelming experiences be “reprocessed” until they don’t bother the person anymore. The eight steps of EMDR therapy are like a map that shows how the treatment should go.

There are eight steps to EMDR therapy. The goal of the phases is to find out what caused the bad memory (phase 1), deal with and get over the trauma (phases 2-7), and develop positive beliefs about oneself (phase 8). (phase 8). 

The result of this therapy is that the bad feelings and memories don’t bother the person as much, and they can deal with them better.

Each EMDR therapy session will have all eight phases, but the length of each phase will depend on the person getting the therapy. The therapist will work with the client to figure out which phase they are in and then adjust the therapy to meet the needs of that phase.

You can contact The Insight Clinic through our website or (289) 483-0133 to learn more about the eight steps of EMDR therapy.

Phase 1: History and planning of how to treat

In the first step of EMDR therapy, the therapist learns about the client’s history. This could mean talking about the client’s goals for therapy and what they want to get out of it. During this phase, the therapist will also make a treatment plan with the client. This is like many other kinds of therapy, and it helps build trust and friendship.

It is also important to figure out what traumatic events happened in the past and what triggers or stressful situations are happening now. The therapist will ask about thoughts, feelings, and behaviors related to these events and triggers. This will help guide the EMDR therapy treatment.

Phase 2: Preparation

During preparation, the client is told what to expect and the therapy’s primary goals. The client will learn how EMDR therapy works, what they need to do during treatment, and what reactions they may have.

During this phase, people are also taught how to relax and deal with stress. During treatment, the client will use these skills to help them deal with painful memories and feelings.

A “safe space” will often be found so the client can take a break and return to the memory later if they feel too much during treatment. This could be as easy as taking deep breaths or thinking about something happy.

Phase 3: assessment

The third step is the evaluation. The treatment is aimed at certain memories or events during the assessment phase. The therapist will ask the client to describe how upset they are about each memory and any negative beliefs or thoughts that go with it.

The goal is to review the event again and determine your thoughts, feelings, and triggers.

Once the assessment is done, the following three steps called the “reprocessing” steps, will start. These parts of EMDR therapy are the actual eye-movement part, and they all involve bilateral stimulation (BLS).

Phase 4: desensitization

In the fourth phase, desensitization takes place. This process makes the client feel less upset when they think about the target memory.

The subjective disturbance units (SUD) are reduced to zero using different methods. Some techniques include:

Phase 5: Installation

After the session of desensitization therapy is over, the client will probably feel better about the memory. These good feelings and thoughts are “installed” or associated with the targeted memory during the installation phase.

The main goal is to make the memory think and remember things well. This is done by having the client think about the positive thought or belief while bilateral stimulation continues. The therapist may also ask the client to think about how they will feel after the memory has been dealt with.

Step 6: Scan the body

The body scan is the sixth part of the process. This means the client needs to pay attention to how their body feels. The EMDR therapist might ask the client to focus on different parts of their body one at a time.

If any negative feelings or thoughts remain, the therapist will ask the client to focus on those feelings while continuing bilateral stimulation. The goal is to help the client become more aware of their body and any emotions or thoughts affecting them.

Phase 7: Closure

The last step is called “closure.” At the end of each reprocessing session, the client goes through a process called “closure,” which is meant to help them feel calm and at ease again.

The end of closure can be seen in three ways.

Phase 8: Reevaluation

After step 7, the therapist will reassess the client’s current memory distress (SUD) level. The therapist will move on to the next memory if the client says they feel less upset. If not, you might have to go to more sessions.

Every new session starts with a reevaluation, which will help figure out what the treatment goals and objectives will be in the future.


EMDR is a therapy that can help people deal with and get over memories of bad things that happened to them. The treatment has eight steps: assessment, desensitization, installation, body scan, closure, and reevaluation.

The goal of EMDR therapy is to find and deal with the bad thoughts and feelings that come with a traumatic memory. This will lead to less stress in the long run.

If you know someone having difficulty getting over something traumatic, tell them to try EMDR therapy with the Insight Clinic. It could be just what they need to feel better.
Use EMDR therapy’s eight steps to deal with trauma today. Our team can help you get started by setting up a meeting with you.

EMDR Therapy, bi-alternate sensory stimulation therapy

Getting Help at The Insight Clinic

Getting Help at The Insight Clinic

Getting Help at The Insight Clinic