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Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) for Trauma & PTSD

EMDR involves a structured eight-phase treatment protocol that integrates elements of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), mindfulness techniques, and bilateral stimulation (such as eye movements, hand tapping, or auditory tones).


It’s primarily used to treat clients with trauma but can be applied to other mental health conditions like anxiety, depression, and phobias as well.

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How Does Alter Use EMDR?

Helping clients reprocess trauma for less distressing memories

EMDR helps individuals integrate traumatic memories and disturbing experiences into their existing memory networks in a more adaptive and less distressing way.

Benefits of EMDR

Useful for Conditions

Client-Centered Techniques & Uses in the Treatment Process

Technique #1 - Bilateral Stimulation

Bilateral stimulation is a cornerstone of EMDR therapy. It involves rhythmic left-right movements or tactile sensations that engage both hemispheres of the brain. This can be achieved through eye movements guided by the therapist’s fingers, tapping on the client’s hands, or auditory tones.


Bilateral stimulation helps activate the brain’s natural processing mechanisms, facilitating the reprocessing of traumatic memories and promoting adaptive resolution.

Technique #2 - Resource Installation

Resource installation is a technique used in EMDR therapy to strengthen positive internal resources that support healing and resilience. Therapists guide clients in accessing memories, experiences, or sensations that evoke feelings of safety, comfort, and strength.


These resources are then vividly imagined and paired with bilateral stimulation to enhance their accessibility and effectiveness in times of distress.

Technique #3 - Future Template

The future template technique in EMDR therapy involves imagining positive future scenarios and goals while simultaneously engaging in bilateral stimulation. Clients visualize themselves achieving their desired outcomes and experiencing feelings of empowerment, success, and fulfillment.


By pairing these positive visions with bilateral stimulation, EMDR helps integrate adaptive beliefs and behaviors, paving the way for lasting change and growth.

Frequently Ask Questions About EMDR

What is EMDR therapy?
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is an evidence-based approach to psychotherapy that helps individuals process distressing memories and experiences. It involves bilateral stimulation, such as eye movements or taps, to facilitate the reprocessing of traumatic memories and alleviate emotional distress.
EMDR therapy works by stimulating both hemispheres of the brain through bilateral stimulation while simultaneously targeting traumatic memories. This process helps desensitize the individual to the distressing memories and facilitates the reprocessing of the traumatic experience, leading to resolution and emotional healing.

Yes, EMDR therapy has been shown to be effective in treating a wide range of mental health conditions, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depression. Research and clinical studies support its efficacy in reducing symptoms and improving overall well-being.


Here’s a complete list of what EMDR can help with:


  • Acute Stress Disorder
  • Phobias and Fears
  • Depression Related to Traumatic Experiences
  • Grief and Loss
  • Distressing Memories or Flashbacks
  • Emotional Dysregulation
  • Performance Anxiety
  • Chronic Pain with Psychological Components
  • Attachment Trauma and Relational Difficulties
  • Dissociative Disorders
During an EMDR therapy session, the therapist guides the client through the traumatic memory while simultaneously engaging in bilateral stimulation, such as eye movements or taps. The client focuses on the distressing memory while allowing thoughts, feelings, and sensations to arise naturally. The therapist ensures a safe and supportive environment throughout the process.
The duration of EMDR therapy varies depending on the individual’s needs and the severity of their symptoms. Some clients may experience significant improvement in just a few sessions, while others may require more extensive treatment. Overall, EMDR therapy is known for producing effective results in fewer sessions compared to traditional talk therapy.
EMDR therapy can be beneficial for individuals of all ages who have experienced trauma or distressing events. However, it may not be appropriate for everyone, especially those with certain medical or psychological conditions. It’s important to consult with a trained EMDR therapist to determine if EMDR therapy is the right fit for your needs.

You can find an EMDR therapist near you by searching online directories, therapist referral services, or by asking for recommendations from your primary healthcare provider or mental health professionals. It’s essential to choose a therapist who is trained and experienced in EMDR therapy techniques.


Alter offers EMDR from the best staff in the country. Call (866) 989-3395 for your free consultation.

EMDR therapy offers a structured approach to trauma treatment that targets specific memories and experiences while simultaneously providing bilateral stimulation. Unlike traditional talk therapy, EMDR therapy allows individuals to process traumatic memories more efficiently and effectively, leading to lasting emotional healing and resolution.

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