What is EMDR therapy?

EMDREMDR GearEMDR therapy combines different elements to maximize its beneficial treatment effects. In the treatment of trauma with EMDR, I utilize the theory, sequence of treatment, and research on protocols and active mechanisms as developed by Dr. Francine Shapiro and outlined in her clinical manual, Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing: Basic principles, protocols and procedures, which is the gold standard for this type of psychotherapy. EMDR involves attention to three time periods: the past, present, and future. The focus is sequentially shifted from past disturbing memories and related events, to the current situations that cause distress, and onto the development of skills and attitudes needed for a better future. In EMDR therapy, this process unfolds over an 8-phase treatment protocol.

Phase 1
The first phase is a history-taking session. I assess your readiness and develop a treatment plan. Together, we identify possible targets for EMDR processing. These include distressing memories and current situations that cause emotional distress. Other targets may include related incidents in the past. Emphasis is placed on the development of specific skills and behaviors that you will need in future situations.

Phase 2
During the second phase of treatment, I make sure you have several different ways of handling emotional distress. I may teach you a variety of imagery and stress reduction techniques that you can use during and between sessions. A goal of EMDR is to produce rapid and effective change while the client maintains equilibrium during and between sessions.

Phases 3, 4, 5 and 6
In phases three, four, five and six, a target is identified and processed using EMDR procedures. I will assist you in identifying three things:
 1. The vivid visual image related to the memory
 2. A negative belief about yourself
 3. Related emotions and body sensations.

Phase 7
In phase seven, I may ask you to keep a log during the week. It serves to remind you of the self-calming activities that were mastered in phase two.

Phase 8
Phase eight consists of examining the progress made thus far and returning to a previous phase, as needed.


Give me a call at (678) 554-5632 to set an appointment (either at my office location or online via telehealth) or send me the appointment request form, which you will find here on my website. I look forward to working with you!