What Exactly Is EMDR? Phase 2


In phase two, let the resourcing begin. I love this phase for many reasons, but one is because for many it’s the first ever opportunity to learn coping skills and tools needed for improved functioning. Relief happens here. For some this looks like improving relaxation skills and for others it’s talking about developing radical self safe practice. This phase is also about developing the therapeutic relationship and strengthening the bond. ⁣⁣
This phase can last one session but more often than not it looks like a few sessions to develop skills required to better function day-to-day and in turn feel better prepared to process what has been stuck. This is also where I get to provide interventions from various treatment modalities and match it to what the person in front of me is needing and asking for. ⁣⁣
// Phase 2// ⁣⁣
EMDRIA describes....⁣⁣
”During the Preparation Phase, the therapist will explain the theory of EMDR, how it is done, and what the person can expect during and after treatment. Finally, the therapist will teach the client a variety of relaxation techniques for calming him or herself in the face of any emotional disturbance that may arise during or after a session. Learning these tools is an important aid for anyone. The happiest people on the planet have ways of relaxing themselves and decompressing from life's inevitable, and often unsuspected, stress. One goal of EMDR therapy is to make sure that the client can take care of him or herself.⁣⁣”

What Exactly Is EMDR? Phase 1


Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a form of therapy that helps people heal from trauma or other distressing life experiences. It has been extensively researched and proven effective for the treatment of trauma. ⁣

I’m a Level II Trained EMDR clinician and was trained by the EMDR Institute. At True Growth, I often provide an integrative approach of using art therapy and EMDR — bringing together different approaches of bilateral stimulation to provide therapy than is more than just words. ⁣

More and more often I’m asked the questions: “what is EMDR exactly?” “How does it work?” “When do we get to the light thing?” ⁣

EMDR includes eight phases and each phase plays its part in the role of healing traumatic wounds. EMDR is more than the strange lights and finger wagging! ⁣

// Phase 1 // ⁣

In the first phase of EMDR treatment, the therapist takes a thorough history of the client and develops a treatment plan. This phase will include a discussion of the specific problem that has brought him or her into therapy, the behaviors and symptoms stemming from that problem. With this information, the therapist will develop a treatment plan that defines the specific targets on which to use EMDR.⁣

With this information, the therapist will develop a treatment plan that defines the specific targets on which to use EMDR. These targets include the event(s) from the past that created the problem, the present situations that cause distress, and the key skills or behaviors the client needs to learn for their future well-being. ⁣


If you feel EMDR might be the right fit for you, please ask your therapist if they were trained at an EMDRIA-approved training so that you know you’re getting EMDR evidenced-based treatment. What many clients don’t know is that there are many iterations and ‘takes’ on EMDR therapy/tapping/etc but the 8 phase protocol developed by Francine Shapiro is where all of that lovely evidenced based research is.