What happens during the EMDR session?

by Aya Gonzalez

Aug 12, 2022

EMDR can be used in addition to regular talk therapy, or as a therapy on it’s own. Initial EMDR sessions are conducted like any other standard therapy session. Together with the therapist, you will explore your goals of therapy, your history, your level of coping, and then together, come up with a planmoving forward. During sessions that are specific to the EMDR protocol, the therapist will use bi-lateral stimulation to access unhelpful stored somatic (emotional) memories, and to create new brain patterns of helpful thoughts and resiliency.  

To achieve this goal, your therapist will use their hand, arm, wand or other device to stimulate bi-lateral momement in the brain. This can be done through the use of the eyes (via watching the therapist or device move back and forth infront of the eyes), or the use of a device that is held in your hands and provides a ‘tap’ , or headphones over your ears that oscillate sound back and forth between the ears. This process can elicit strong emotion, which is the memory processing experience, and then the body moves to a soothed, calm state. The process is also used to create new thought patterns in the brain. 

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