EMDR – Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing

NOTE: This page is for reference, definition, and information only. Wilopa Practitioners are not licensed medical personnel and do not practice the form of psychotherapy described herein.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a form of sub-conscious belief change psychotherapy developed in 1988 by Francine Shapiro directly from various Neuro-Linguistic Programming dissociative techniques. These techniques include but are not limited to Eye Movement Patterns, Anchoring, and the Swish Pattern among a few others.

It enables people who are visually oriented in their representational system to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing life experiences.

Clinical EMDR is work well for addressing negative thoughts, feelings and behaviors are the result of unprocessed memories. The insights clients gain in EMDR therapy result their own accelerated intellectual and emotional processes. The end result is that EMDR therapy clients feel empowered by the very experiences that once debased them. Their wounds have not only closed, they have transformed. As a natural outcome of the EMDR therapeutic process, the clients’ thoughts, feelings, and behavior are all in alignment with healthy emotions toward resolution.

While EMDR is an 8 Phase Process it can in most cases be complete in a one hour session. Our version of EMDR therapy is neither a medical nor a clinical approach. It is a similar holistic approach going deeper in to more NLP techniques than standard clinical EMDR. So therefore it far exceeds the capabilities and efficacy of the traditional medical counterpart.

EMDR: Unlocking Healing from Trauma

EMDR is a comprehensive, evidence-based therapy that aims to alleviate the emotional distress associated with traumatic memories or negative life experiences. It is grounded in the belief that traumatic experiences can become “stuck” in the brain’s memory networks, leading to ongoing emotional disturbance and dysfunctional beliefs about oneself and the world. It seeks to reprocess these memories, facilitating their integration into a more adaptive and manageable form.

Key Components of EMDR Therapy

  1. Bilateral Stimulation: One of the core features of EMDR is bilateral stimulation, which involves moving the client’s eyes from side to side or using other forms of alternating stimuli, such as tapping or auditory cues. This bilateral stimulation is believed to mimic the natural processing that occurs during REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, facilitating the brain’s ability to reprocess memories.
  2. Phases of EMDR: Consisting of eight phases, each serves a specific purpose in the therapeutic process:
    a. History Taking: The therapist gathers information about the client’s past and identifies target memories to be processed.

    b. Preparation: The therapist establishes a safe and trusting environment, educates the client about EMDR, and teaches relaxation techniques.

    c. Assessment: The client focuses on a specific target memory while simultaneously engaging in bilateral stimulation, allowing the therapist to observe and assess the client’s responses.

    d. Desensitization: During this phase, the therapist helps the client process the traumatic memory through bilateral stimulation, enabling emotional desensitization.

    e. Installation: Positive beliefs and emotions are integrated to replace negative or distressing beliefs associated with the memory.

    f. Body Scan: The therapist checks for any remaining physical tension related to the memory and addresses it if necessary.

    g. Closure: The session is brought to a close, ensuring the client is in a stable emotional state.

    h. Reevaluation: In subsequent sessions, the therapist assesses the client’s progress and determines the need for further processing.

Benefits of EMDR

  1. Trauma Resolution: EMDR has proven particularly effective in treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other trauma-related conditions, facilitating healing and symptom reduction.
  2. Anxiety and Phobia Treatment: Address various anxiety disorders and specific phobias, helping individuals regain control over their lives.
  3. Self-Esteem Enhancement: Reprocess negative beliefs and experiences related to self-worth, fostering greater self-esteem and self-acceptance.
  4. Enhanced Coping Skills: Gain effective coping skills to manage future challenges and stressors.
  5. Improved Interpersonal Relationships: By processing past emotional wounds, EMDR can lead to healthier and more fulfilling relationships.


EMDR, or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, is a transformative therapy that has brought hope and healing to countless individuals struggling with trauma, anxiety, and other mental health concerns. Its unique approach of bilateral stimulation and structured phases enables the brain to reprocess distressing memories, fostering emotional resolution and adaptive beliefs.

It has emerged as a powerful and evidence-based therapeutic tool, offering renewed hope to those seeking relief from the burdens of their past experiences. For individuals navigating the aftermath of trauma or emotional challenges, EMDR represents a path to rediscovering resilience, fostering growth, and ultimately unlocking a brighter and more fulfilling future.