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I want EMDR but I’m nervous! What can I expect?

Updated: Oct 2, 2023

All therapists at Mental Blocks are trained in EMDR because it’s an extremely effective treatment for many things, including depression, anxiety, past or recent trauma, or just any general area of life where you feel stuck. We also understand, though, that it can be really scary to dive deeply into these things.

When you start talking about EMDR Therapy with your therapist, they will first answer any questions you have about it in order to give you an understanding about how and why it works. They will explain what an EMDR session looks like so there won’t be any surprises and you’ll know exactly what to expect. They’ll talk about how you’ll do the bilateral stimulation and have you practice it. Sometimes this is done by moving your eyes back and forth while following a light, and sometimes it’s done by tapping yourself on your shoulders, or holding tappers or putting headphones on and listening to beeps. You’ll also talk in advance about what “target” you’ll start with, which is usually a memory or event related to the issue you’re working on.

Also in preparation, you’ll work with your therapist on coping skills and building resources, so you’ll feel prepared to manage any emotions that might emerge during or after the EMDR sessions. You and your therapist will talk all along the process about how ready you feel, as well as what skills your therapist thinks will help you manage the therapy. So no need to worry…by the time you do your first EMDR session, you’ll feel ready! And if you have any questions, please let your therapist know.

A few other things that are good to know about EMDR that can help ease your fears:

· While doing EMDR, you don’t have to talk about the distressing or traumatic memories out loud. This can be a huge relief to some clients who feel like talking about the trauma will feel too hard.

· There is no homework with EMDR, nothing that will be required of you to do in between sessions for it to work.

· EMDR sessions can be done at a pace that works for you, whether that’s speedy or slow and steady.

· EMDR can be done virtually. Talk to your therapist about whether this might be a good fit for you if you’re currently doing telehealth sessions.

Please reach out to us if you have any more questions about EMDR Therapy or talk to your therapist about this as an option for you. I welcome you to email me, Sally-Anne, here.

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