EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), as with most therapy approaches, focuses on the individual’s present concerns. The EMDR approach believes past emotionally-charged experiences are overly influencing your present emotions, sensations, and thoughts about yourself. As an example: “Do you ever feel worthless although you know you are a worthwhile person?” EMDR processing helps you break through the emotional blocks that are keeping you from living an adaptive, emotionally healthy life.
How does it work?
EMDR uses rapid sets of eye movements to help you update disturbing experiences, much like what occurs when we sleep. During sleep, we alternate between regular sleep and REM (rapid eye movement). This sleep pattern helps you process things that are troubling you.
EMDR replicates this sleep pattern by alternating between sets of eye movements and brief reports about what you are noticing. This alternating process helps you update your memories to a healthier present perspective.
EMDR focuses on the brain’s ability to constantly learn, taking past experiences, and updating them with present information.
• Adaptive learning is constantly updating memory network systems.
• Past emotionally-charged experiences often interfere with your updating
• EMDR breaks through that interference and helps let go of the past and update
your experiences to a healthier present perspective.
• EMDR uses a set of procedures to organize your negative and positive feelings,
emotions, and thoughts, and then uses bilateral stimulation, such as eye
movements or alternating tapping, as the way to help you effectively work
through those disturbing memories
Video explaining how EMDR works
What does a typical session look like?
Overall Treatment Planning
• You have come to treatment expressing concerns.
• Your therapist will help you understand the dynamics of the presenting
concerns and how to adaptively manage them.
• An overall treatment plan will be developed that will accomplish your goals.
• Within that treatment plan, EMDR, along with other therapy approaches, will be
used to accomplish your treatment goals.
The EMDR session
• You will be asked a set of questions to access and activate the negative
experience and the desired adaptive resolution.
• Sets of rapid eye movement (or other forms of bilateral stimulation) will be
• You will be encouraged to just “free associate” and allow the brain to work
through the experience.
• Sets of eye movements will be alternated with brief reports about what you
• EMDR processing will continue until the past experience has been updated to
an adaptive present perspective.
• With long standing issues, this process may take multiple sessions.
Using what you’ve learned
• Once the disturbing experiences have been updated, you and your therapist
will work together to integrate these new insights and perspectives into your
Who can provide EMDR as a treatment method?
EMDR therapy must be provided by at least a masters level clinician who has been trained in EMDR at an EMDRIA approved training. Training consists of 2 basic courses, and upon completion clinicians must attend 10 hours of consultation with an approved EMDR consultant. After completion of the 10 consultation hours, the clinician is trained in EMDR. Many therapists claim to be trained in EMDR, however were not provided training by an EMDRIA approved site. If you choose to do EMDR, be sure to ask your EMDR practioner if they attended an EMDRIA approved training.
For more information on EMDR please see our Frequently Asked Questions page.
If you or someone you know is looking for EMDR therapy in the Sarasota and Manatee Counties area, then Harmonia Wellness may be the place for you.
3653 Cortez Road West
Suite 110D and 110E
To make an appointment please call
Monday: 10:00am - 9:30pm
Tuesday: 10:00am - 9:30pm
Wednesday: 10:00am - 9:30pm
Thursday: 10:00am - 9:30pm
Friday: Open for EMDR Intensives Only
Saturday: Open for EMDR Intensives Only
Sunday: Open for EMDR Intensives Only