Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing: EMDR

EMDR Frequently Asked Questions:

EMDR Therapy originated from Dr. Francine Shapiro.  It is an integrative therapy that helps people heal from symptoms of emotional distress from unresolved traumatic memories in the brain and nervous system.

Q: What are the phases in EMDR therapy?

A: There are 8 phases in EMDR therapy.

1. History and Treatment Planning

2. Preparation

3. Assessment

4. Desensitization

5. Installation

6. Body Scan

7. Closure

8. Reevaluation 

Check out a detailed article about the 8 phases from EMDRIA EMDR International Association here: https://www.emdria.org/public-resources/the-eight-phases-of-emdr-therapy/

Q: Do I have to talk about all of the details of what happened?

A: No, that's one of the benefits of EMDR therapy--it can be quite vague.  For example, if your counsellor asks you about a time where you felt humiliated or worthless, you can be as vague as saying, "I remember when my sibling did something to me", you do not have to go into the details of what happened. 

Q: How will I know I am ready for reprocessing and desensitization?

A: Your therapist will provide an EMDR Readiness Checklist as well as an EMDR Informed Consent document that you will review together.  Remember that informed consent is on-going.  If you have any questions be sure to bring them up with your counsellor, they will be happy to answer them. 

Q: Where can I watch a video that tells me more about EMDR?

A: Check out How to Process Trauma [EMDR techniques] presented by Med Circle featuring Dr. Judy and MedCircle host Kyle Kittleson:


Source: The 8 Phases of EMDR Therapy published August 13, 2021; https://www.emdria.org/public-resources/the-eight-phases-of-emdr-therapy/

Source: How to Process Trauma: Explained by Med Circle published May 12th, 2020; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cMEcHdlq3yE