Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy is a theoretical orientation and approach to mental health treatment. The goal of EMDR is to help clients to heal from traumatic or other distressing life experiences related to their present-day symptoms and difficulties. This therapy is evidenced-based and known for producing more rapid results than traditional talk therapy.

EMDR can help treat mental health conditions that occur because of memories from past distressing or traumatic events and is considered the gold-standard for treating post-traumatic stress disorder. This is true, however, only if you work with a reputable EMDR therapist. The wrong therapist will make the process ineffective, upsetting and even destabilizing. 

Here are some things to look for:

1. The therapist’s credentials. 

An EMDR therapist must be a licensed mental health clinician or must be working toward their licensure under the supervision of a licensed mental health clinician. 

2. Where they received training.

Find out where they were trained in EMDR therapy and confirm that they received their training through an EMDRIA-approved training program. This is a must because it means the therapist knows all the essential components of EMDR therapy, including how to prepare clients for the reprocessing stage of treatment. 

3. Are they certified or working toward certification? 

If you are seeking EMDR therapy to resolve complex issues such as to resolve numerous early childhood traumatic experiences, you may want to consider a therapist who is EMDR certified or working towards their certification. EMDR clinicians who have basic EMDR training can apply EMDR to help treat single event traumatic experiences (such as a car accident). EMDR Certified therapists have completed advanced level EMDR training, as well as participated in ongoing EMDR consultation with an EMDRIA Approved Consultant. Choosing an EMDR Certified therapist can help to ensure your EMDR therapist is experienced in using EMDR therapy as well as possesses the required training background to apply EMDR to your specific needs.

4. How well do they explain the treatment? 

A reputable EMDR therapist will take the time to explain the EMDR treatment process to the client. They will prioritize your comfort and will want you to understand what to expect as well as how to prepare. They will also give you the opportunity to ask lots of questions. 

5. Do they rush into EMDR, or do they start by spending time teaching you coping strategies?

Stabilization is the first step in any good trauma therapy. Before you can begin working through traumatic or disturbing experiences, you must first have tools to sit with distressing internal experiences and cope with your current symptoms as well as present day difficulties. Your EMDR therapist will teach you these skills to ensure you are ready to start reprocessing the trauma. 

6. A safe and trusting environment.

 Trust is key in any good therapy, and this is especially true in EMDR therapy which can bring up feelings of vulnerability. You must have a safe and trusting therapeutic relationship for effective EMDR therapy. 

You can gain much from EMDR therapy if you work with a professional therapist. Here at Choice Point Psychological, we can help you heal from past stressful or traumatic experiences and work with you to help you move forward. If you have any questions or require additional information, contact us today