What is EMDR Therapy – What’s It Like & What’s It Treat?

Gay couple in the Los Angeles area happy that trauma therapy has worked for both of them.

Trauma can manifest itself in many different ways, especially through emotional and physical reactions when recalling events from the past. Oftentimes, individuals are unaware that what they are feeling is related to a past traumatic event.

Trauma can affect us in ways such as exhaustion, anxiety, paranoia, panic attacks, digestive issues, or mood swings.

Research shows that one effective way to treat trauma is through Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing or EMDR Los Angeles. This process can help you rewire the connection between thoughts and emotions, allowing you to reprocess a traumatic event so you no longer have the same reaction. In this article, we’ll be diving into what EMDR therapy is, what’s it like to receive EMDR therapy during substance abuse and mental health treatment, and what EMDR is effective at treating.

What Is EMDR Therapy?

Developed in 1989 by Francine Shapiro, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a form of psychotherapy intended to alleviate distress from traumatic memories. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) often occurs after individuals have been through military combat, severe accidents, or physical/sexual assault.

Unlike other forms of treatment, EMDR uses a patient’s rhythmic eye movement to dull the power of emotionally charged traumatic events.

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How Does EMDR Therapy Work?

EMDR works by assisting our brain in reprocessing thoughts that we associate with the traumatic event or traumatic memory that we experienced. This involves bilateral stimulation, such as rapid eye movement, touching, or acoustic sounds.

To start, the therapist will ask you to remember disturbing images, sounds, or thoughts from the event. After doing so, they will then ask you to follow an object with your eyes or focus on specific sounds and touches.

As you and the therapist work together, EMDR will bring forth new associations that can be used to help the individual reproach traumatic events in more effective ways.

Once the therapist identifies said light, sound, or movement, they try to refocus the client’s thoughts onto more positive ones.

As time goes on, you will start to replace the negative associations with more pleasant ones.

What is EMDR Therapy Like?

EMDR therapy sessions can be emotionally intense, but they are also typically short, lasting between 60 and 90 minutes. Your therapist will work with you to develop coping strategies and ensure that you feel safe and supported throughout the process.

It’s important to note that EMDR therapy is not a one-size-fits-all treatment. Your therapist will customize the treatment to meet your individual needs and goals. It’s also important to continue any other forms of treatment that you may be receiving, such as medication or talk therapy, as EMDR therapy is often used in conjunction with other treatments.

Overall, EMDR therapy can be a powerful tool for overcoming trauma and anxiety. With the guidance of a trained therapist, you can process your traumatic experiences in a way that reduces their emotional intensity and helps you to move forward with your life.

What is EMDR Therapy Used to Treat?

EMDR therapy is most commonly used to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other forms of trauma, but it can also be effective in treating a wide range of other mental health issues. Here are some of the conditions that EMDR therapy can treat:


EMDR therapy is a well-established treatment for PTSD. Studies have shown that it can be effective in reducing symptoms such as flashbacks, nightmares, and avoidance behaviors.


EMDR therapy can be effective in treating various types of anxiety disorders, including social anxiety, panic disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder.


EMDR therapy can be used to treat depression, particularly in cases where the depression is related to traumatic experiences.


EMDR therapy can be effective in treating phobias, such as fear of flying or fear of heights.


EMDR therapy can be used as part of a comprehensive treatment plan for addiction, particularly in cases where the addiction is related to trauma.

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Is EMDR Therapy Effective?

EMDR therapy, according to a number of clinical studies, is an effective form of therapy. EMDR offers many benefits for the individual going through treatment. It can help overcome addiction, manage anxiety without medication, and recover from traumatic experiences.

EMDR works to reprogram the way you think, replacing negative thoughts and associations with more positive feelings.

As a result, the therapy might have more lasting effects. This therapy is non-invasive and easy to complete. Attachment focused EMDR therapy may also help with the ability to form better interpersonal relationships.

Find EMDR Treatment in Los Angeles

EMDR therapy might seem a little daunting at first. Rest assured, this evidence-based therapy can be beneficial for PTSD and traumatic experiences.

When you work with No Matter What Recovery and their EMDR therapist, you’re receiving treatment tailored to your specific needs. When it comes to our clients, we understand that no two experiences are the same. For that reason, we take an individualized approach to treatment for every person.

Whatever your circumstance, our mental health and addiction treatment professionals are here for you.

Don’t let your trauma be in control any longer. You can learn more about EMDR therapy in Los Angeles for trauma and PTSD, by reaching out.