What does an EMDR session look like?

The following description of an EMDR session was described by the team at EMDR Consulting LLC.

Is it necessary to tell my therapist all the details about my problems in order for it to be processed?

• No, it is not necessary to talk about all the details of your experiences for them to be processed.

Will I get emotional?

• Yes, you may. Emotions and sensations may come up during processing; although, you will be prepared and your therapist will help you safely manage them. Once they are processed, they rarely come back!

The EMDR session per se:

• You will be asked a set of questions to access and activate the negative experience and
the desired adaptive resolution.
• Sets of rapid eye movement (or other forms of bilateral stimulation) will be applied.
• You will be encouraged to just “free associate” and allow the brain to work through the
• Sets of eye movements will be alternated with brief reports about what you are
• EMDR processing will continue until the past experience has been updated to an
adaptive present perspective.
• With long standing issues, this process may take multiple sessions.

Is EMDR like hypnosis?
• No. During EMDR processing, you are present and fully in control.

Is EMDR a brief treatment?
• EMDR, as with all treatment approaches, will help you accomplish your treatment goals.
• The length of time that it takes is dependent upon the complexity of your problems.
• Frequently, EMDR is only one of several treatment approaches that will be used to help you reach your treatment goals.

Overall Treatment Planning
• You have come to treatment expressing concerns.
• Your therapist will help you understand the dynamics of the presenting concerns and how to adaptively manage them.
• An overall treatment plan will be developed that will accomplish your goals.
• Within that treatment plan, EMDR, along with other therapy approaches, will be used to accomplish your treatment goals.

Using what you’ve learned
• Once the disturbing experiences have been updated, you and your therapist will work
together to integrate these new insights and perspectives into your daily life.
Provided by EMDR Consulting, LLC: www.emdrconsulting.com