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EMDR Therapy: Service
EMDR Therapy

EMDR Therapy

What Is EMDR Therapy?


Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is an integrative form of therapy that can help clients heal from trauma, anxiety, PTSD, or other distressing life experiences. EMDR therapy helps activate the brain’s self-healing processes to reconcile these experiences and allow natural recovery to resume. Although incidents are still remembered, the distress associated with the traumatic event is calmed and resolved.

EMDR at Cadence Psychology Studio

EMDR treatment was originally developed by American psychologist Francine Shapiro in the 1980s to treat PTSD. Since then, EMDR therapy has gained acceptance through clinical practice and research, demonstrating its efficacy in treating other mental health challenges. Endorsements from the Veterans Association (VA), American Psychiatric Association (APA), and World Health Organization (WHO) have expanded EMDR’s recognition as an effective mental health treatment.

What EMDR Therapy Sessions Look Like 


Before getting underway with reprocessing, we start by developing and strengthening your ability to regulate emotions and remain present and grounded during distress. Emotional regulation is a primary function of healing. Next, we identify the memory or problem that needs to be processed as well as the negative beliefs that undergird the emotional intensity of the memory. Once processing begins, you will be asked to focus on thoughts, emotions, and physiological sensations associated with the distressing memory or problem. 

While noticing all of this, we will use a form of bilateral stimulation (BLS). BLS is thought to activate the self-healing properties of the brain. BLS resembles REM sleep, the stage when events of the day are processed and consolidated, allowing for new learning and insight to occur. In the context of EMDR treatment, the memory or problem is not erased. Rather, the emotional intensity associated with the memory or problem is diminished or released entirely, creating space for new perspectives, insights, and adaptive beliefs to emerge and strengthen.

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Other Things To Know About EMDR


EMDR is considered to be safe, with the only minimal side effects being a temporary experience of heightened emotions and/or physical sensations immediately following the session. However, these effects gradually diminish as the memories are processed. To help mitigate side effects, we use grounding techniques and relaxation practices at the end of each session to honor the work you've done and help you re-enter your life with more ease. 

Talking about traumatic memories without first developing adequate emotional regulation skills can lead to re-traumatization, making the past feel even more alive in the present. In contrast, EMDR therapy is an 8-phase protocol designed to help you safely heal. What’s more, articulating detailed trauma narratives is not required for EMDR to be effective.

Who Can Benefit From EMDR Therapy?


Our therapists primarily use EMDR counseling with clients who have experienced trauma. We use the term "trauma" broadly to describe the body's response to an event that was too much, too fast, or too soon for the nervous system to process and integrate completely. For example, eye movement therapy can help clients understand and reconcile core beliefs that resulted from relational trauma or childhood neglect and abuse.

In addition to addressing traumatic memories, you may be a good candidate for EMDR therapy if you:

  • Tend to be highly reactive to certain triggers;

  • Experience distressing emotions that appear to be excessive given the current situation;

  • Adhere to beliefs about yourself that, on an intellectual level, you know are not true.

EMDR Therapy at Cadence Psychology Studio

When useful, we may incorporate other modalities and interventions into EMDR treatment, such as Internal Family Systems Therapy (IFS), to identify parts of self that need—or can facilitate— deeper healing. We also use attachment-based interventions to sensitively navigate barriers to feeling emotionally safe in your relationships and strengthen your ability to be present, attuned, and supportive during times of crisis and distress.

EMDR therapy has been extensively researched and has demonstrated effectiveness in the treatment of trauma. Moreover, since being developed for trauma and PTSD, EMDR has been found to be a useful treatment for many other conditions, including generalized anxiety, grief, phobias, panic attacks, dissociative disorders, performance anxiety, and stress reduction.*

Why We Love EMDR Therapy 

Trauma work is one of our specialties at Cadence Psychology Studio. We are honored to walk alongside clients as they heal and experience freedom from the pain of the past. Not only do we have advanced education and training in trauma-informed care and treatment, but we are committed to seeking new therapies that effectively treat the problems and concerns of our clients. As counselors who love to learn and help people, EMDR has proven to be an effective—and we dare say life-changing—treatment for many of our clients.

Many people have been drawn to EMDR after a disappointing therapy experience. They found that talking about their traumatic experiences in therapy didn’t relieve their distress. EMDR therapy fosters a greater understanding of self, particularly in the context of how relational and emotional development is impacted by trauma and painful memories. This insight allows clients to forge deeper connections with others and build confidence in their ability to navigate hardships moving forward.

Even before the trauma processing phase of EMDR, clients report improved understanding of the impact of trauma and increased confidence in using emotional regulation and distress tolerance skills successfully. As EMDR therapy continues, you will begin to experience lasting freedom from the pain of your trauma. As the distress that has lingered for so long gradually recedes, your vivid “3-D” memories will fade to black and white “2-D“ images.

Trauma recovery is a journey of self-awareness, self-acceptance, and self-compassion. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing often acts as an efficient catalyst for this process.

Find Out How EMDR Therapy Can Help You


In addition to in-person sessions, we also offer virtual EMDR therapy, which can be as effective as an in-person visit. If you would like to learn more about EMDR therapy and how working with a trained therapist can help you, please visit our contact page.

If you’re ready to start your healing journey, we’re here to support you. To book a FREE 15-minute phone consult or to schedule your first session, call or text 317-747-0574 or visit our contact page. 

EMDR Treatment at Cadence Psychology Studio

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