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Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a treatment that was originally designed by Francine Shapiro in 1987 to alleviate the distress associated with traumatic memories. Since then, EMDR therapy has been used effectively to treat troubling symptoms such as anxiety, depression, guilt, anger, and post-traumatic reactions. 


EMDR therapy pairs specific psychological protocols with eye movements, or other forms of bilateral stimulations, enabling your brain to heal from traumatic memories. It actually reproduces natural healing processes usually occurring during our sleep.


"When a disturbing event occurs, it can get locked in the brain with the original picture, sounds, thoughts, feelings and body sensations. EMDR procedures seem to stimulate the information and allow the brain to reprocess the experience. It is your own brain that will be doing the healing and you are the one in control".
(EMDR Training Institute)  


EMDR therapy is recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO), the American Psychological Association (APA) and by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) as an effective treatment for trauma for children, adolescents and adults. 


EMDR therapy is used to address adverse life experiences that contribute to disruptive symptoms in present living. It has been successful to treat:

- anxiety and panic attacks,

- traumatic memories,

- depression,

- stress,

- anger,

- phobias,

- performance anxiety and self-esteem issues.

Nonetheless EMDR therapy might not be always adapted to your situation and stage of recovery: it is not appropriate for everyone. We will follow specific procedures to assess your presenting issues, emotional regulation abilities, and other factors. These standardised clinical procedures ensure your safety and the efficacy of any EMDR therapy treatment.



How long does treatment take?

EMDR therapy can be brief focused treatment or part of a longer psychotherapy program, according to your presenting difficulties. Sessions typically last from 60 to 90 minutes.

It is really difficult for me to explain what happened. Will I have to be specific about the trauma I've experienced?

Discussing the details of a traumatic experience is not required in EMDR sessions: the anxiety associated with confronting and revealing those details may be alleviated. EMDR therapy carries less risk of "re-exposure" trauma (re-experiencing) than other therapies.

What evidence is there that EMDR therapy is successful?

The validity and reliability of EMDR has been established by rigorous research: it is one of the most thoroughly researched method used in the treatment of trauma. You may read detailed information and many research studies on the website of the EMDR Institute.



We will follow a standardised protocol, but EMDR therapy is a different experience for everyone: the healing process is truly guided from within.


The first phase of EMDR therapy, like any other form of psychotherapy, is a proper intake and assessment. Your EMDR experience depends on choosing the appropriate EMDR protocol and strategy to support you. To do so, we will speak about your past experiences, current concerns, and related disturbing memories. This is a safe discussion: I will support you to express what you want to, and to avoid feeling overwhelmed. 

This is a thorough phase of assessment and preparation (one to two sessions). You may also chose to start learning and practicing new tools of emotional regulation before working on memories. In any case, we will never start the bilateral stimulation / eye movement during the first session. 

When we work on memories, eye movements will be created by asking you to watch objects moving backwards and forwards across your visual field - either your therapist's fingers during a face-to-face session, or green shapes on your screen during an online session. 


Sometimes past issues or memories come up, which are related to the current concern. These may also be treated with EMDR therapy. Sometimes a painful memory brings up unpleasant emotions or body sensations. This is normal and generally passes within a few minutes, when the EMDR therapy continues. With repeated sets of eye movements, the disturbing memory tends to change and lose its painful intensity. Associated memories may also heal at the same time, or with each session, which can lead to drastic improvements in your present life.



Yes! Practice and research has proven that virtual EMDR is as effective as the traditional approach


The range and functionalities of online EMDR platforms have developed greatly since the pandemic. I have been using for three years: it has proven extremely reliable.

In practice, there is a small difference: instead of watching the therapist's fingers moving back and forth, the client will watch colourful shapes moving on the screen - both options generate similar eye movements. 


As a therapist, I am really glad that clients can choose EMDR therapy anywhere in the world now (as long as there is a stable Internet connection). 


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