What does an EMDR therapy session look like?
A typical EMDR Therapy session lasts from 60 to 90 minutes. The type of problem, life circumstances, and the amount of previous trauma will determine how many treatment sessions are necessary. EMDR Therapy may be used within a standard “talk” therapy, as an adjunctive therapy with a separate therapist, or as a treatment all by itself. During an EMDR Therapy session, the therapist works with the client to identify a specific problem as the focus of the treatment session. The client calls to mind the disturbing issue or event, what was seen, felt, heard, thought, etc., and what thoughts and beliefs are currently held about that event. The therapist facilitates the directional movement of the eyes or other dual attention stimulation of the brain, while the client focuses on the disturbing material, and the client just notices whatever comes to mind without making any effort to control direction or content. Each person will process information uniquely, based on personal experiences and values. Sets of eye movements are continued until the memory becomes less disturbing and the brain associates it with positive thoughts and beliefs about oneself; for example, “I did the best I could.” During EMDR Therapy, the client may experience intense emotions, but by the end of the session, most people report a great reduction in the level of disturbance.