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EMDR Therapy: A Transformative Approach to Healing

Elevated Counseling & Wellness-EMDR Therapy Client

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, commonly known as EMDR, stands out as an innovative and non-traditional form of psychotherapy, specifically honed to alleviate the distress associated with traumatic memories. Since its inception by Dr. Francine Shapiro in 1987, EMDR has increasingly been recognized and embraced within the therapeutic community, especially for its effectiveness in treating trauma and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Exploring EMDR Therapy

EMDR therapy is predicated on the understanding that certain traumatic experiences are inadequately processed by the brain, leading to persistent emotional discomfort. These memories are encapsulated with the original images, sounds, thoughts, and feelings that occurred at the time of the traumatic event. Left unaddressed, these memories can trigger distressing symptoms in the present. EMDR facilitates the accessing and processing of these traumatic memories, ultimately fostering an adaptive resolution.

A brain with new neural connections

The Mechanism Behind EMDR

This therapeutic modality is structured around eight distinct phases, with a strong emphasis on addressing both past distressing memories and present disturbances that contribute to emotional distress. The innovative element of EMDR involves what's termed "dual stimulation," which utilizes bilateral sensory input—through eye movements, sounds, or tactile feedback—while the client recalls traumatic memories.

The Benefits of EMDR Therapy

1. Efficacy in Reducing Trauma and PTSD Symptoms: EMDR has proven to be extremely effective in decreasing the emotional impact associated with traumatic memories.

2. Speed of Results: Many clients experience a significant reduction in symptoms relatively quickly, often within just a few therapy sessions.

3. Limited Need for Verbalization: EMDR does not rely as heavily on verbal communication as other forms of therapy, which can be a boon for those who find verbal expression of traumatic events challenging.

4. Alleviates Associated Symptoms: In addition to trauma and PTSD, EMDR is known to help reduce symptoms of anxiety, depression, and stress.

Variations of EMDR

Adaptability is a hallmark of EMDR, allowing it to be customized for various populations and settings:

  • Child-Focused EMDR: Adapted for children using age-appropriate methods and shorter session times.

  • Group EMDR: Useful in settings that involve collective trauma, such as natural disasters or for specific groups like veterans.

  • Remote EMDR: Facilitated through online platforms, ensuring accessibility during times like the COVID-19 pandemic or for individuals in remote locations.

Who Benefits from EMDR?

Initially developed for PTSD, the application of EMDR has expanded to address a wide range of emotional and psychological distress:

  • Military Personnel: Effective for dealing with combat-related PTSD.

  • Children and Adolescents: Helps in processing trauma from abuse, neglect, or bullying.

  • Survivors of Abuse and Violence: Facilitates recovery from various traumatic experiences.

  • First Responders: Assists in managing stress and trauma inherent to emergency response work.

Scientific Support for EMDR

The efficacy of EMDR is robust, backed by extensive research. Endorsed by the American Psychological Association for PTSD treatment, a significant meta-analysis by Seidler and Wagner (2006) in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry highlighted EMDR's effectiveness, showing that it is as beneficial as other trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapies. Additional studies suggest that EMDR also helps alleviate symptoms of anxiety, depression, and panic disorders, presumably through facilitating the processing of traumatic memories, thus reducing distress.


Seidler, G. H., & Wagner, F. E. (2006). Comparing the efficacy of EMDR and trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy in the treatment of PTSD: a meta-analytic study. Psychological Medicine, 36(11), 1515-1522. DOI: 10.1017/S0033291706007963

EMDR Client Success Stories at Elevated Counseling & Wellness

At Elevated Counseling & Wellness in Denver, the transformative power of EMDR is evident through numerous client experiences. Whether it's helping individuals like Maria process childhood trauma, aiding veterans like John in overcoming combat-related PTSD, or supporting assault survivors like Emma in reclaiming their lives, EMDR has been a cornerstone of healing. These personal stories underscore the profound impact EMDR can have on overcoming past adversities and fostering resilience and hope.


EMDR therapy is a beacon of hope for many grappling with the echoes of past trauma. At Elevated Counseling & Wellness, we are dedicated to harnessing the full potential of EMDR to facilitate healing and recovery. By continuously refining our therapeutic practices, we ensure that each client receives the compassionate, effective treatment needed to make significant life changes. Through EMDR, we see not just a reduction in symptoms but a pathway toward renewed strength and emotional freedom.

We have EMDR-trained clinicians ready to help you take the next step in transforming the way you view yourself.


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