Eight Phases of EMDR Therapy

Eight Phases of EMDR Therapy

Eight Phases of EMDR Therapy

EMDR, or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, therapy is beneficial for overcoming and healing from traumatic events in your past. Many people choose this method of therapy when they are working to overcome challenges from their past. Although it focuses on eye movements, it is much more than that. EMDR therapy in Orlando uses physical sensations, like taps and touches, to elicit emotional responses and feelings about traumatic past experiences. Your counselor will work through these experiences so you can fully process the emotions instead of staying stuck in them. There are a few phases involves in EMDR therapy.

History Taking

In the first stage, your counselor will ask you questions about your history and perform an assessment to determine how to proceed with EMDR therapy. You will be able to get comfortable with your counselor, answer questions to become familiar, and determine whether this is the right fit. These introductory, history taking sessions are important for getting to know one another and laying the groundwork for a successful therapy session.


This stage is more informative than anything else. During the preparation stage, your counselor will discuss the expectations of this style of therapy, learn grounding techniques, practice stress-reduction strategies, and discuss the traumatic events that have led you here.


You and your therapist will then move into the assessment phase to look closely at what you want to target. You will discuss an image for a safe place, along with both a negative and positive cognition. These elements will assist you during the EMDR therapy process.


All of your senses will become involved with the therapy process begins, which is known as the desensitization stage. You will begin to target the experience you wish to overcome, and this will elicit responses from all your feelings and emotions. Your therapist will begin to introduce different distractions to get you comfortable with everything from eye movements to taps and touches.


Next comes the introduction of a more positive cognition so that you can learn how to create new pathways and start to associate your traumatic experience with more positive cognitions. Your therapist will ask about your how comfortable and true your experiences feel as you start to associate your trauma with more positive elements, and you will want to rate this on a scale of 1-7.

Body Scan and Closure

You will be asked to mentally scan your body to discuss any sensations or tension that you may feel after completing the therapy session. You will close the session by checking in with your therapist to discuss how you feel and adjust any negative emotions before you leave. You may need to practice grounding techniques to bring you back to the room.


Reevaluation allows your therapist to cycle back to the beginning with the start of each session. Over time, the goal is to see progress with the positive emotions replacing the negative ones. They will assess your level of disturbance from session to session to determine whether the process is working or whether changes need to be made.

By understanding the phases in EMDR therapy in Orlando, you can prepare for these sessions and understand the expectations. While some people find this therapy method to be extremely effective, you should always discuss your concerns with a trained professional. Contact the counseling experts at Orlando Thrive Therapy to schedule your appointment with us today.

Rise above any circumstance, for GROWTH, EMPOWERMENT, and better QUALITY of life!
Call today for more information. Follow Orlando Thrive on Facebook or Instagram.

(407) 592-8997

216 Pasadena Pl
Orlando, Florida 32803
Heather Oller

Heather Oller is the owner and founder of Orlando Thrive Therapy, Coaching, and Counseling. She is a licensed counselor and a family mediator who has over 23 years of dedicated work as a professional in the mental health field. Through her company's mission, she continues to pave the way for future therapists, and their clients, who want a higher quality of life....and who want to thrive, rather than just survive. You can contact Orlando Thrive Therapy at (407) 592-8997 for more information.