Donna Morgan Counselling, Shere Lane, Guildford, England, GU5, United Kingdom

BlogDoes EMDR Work?

Does EMDR Work?


What is trauma?

In a world where words like “traumatic” and “traumatised” are often casually thrown around in everyday conversations, it’s essential to step back and genuinely understand the profound weight behind the term “trauma.”

At some point in our lives, many of us will face events that shake our very core, events that leave imprints on our psyche, influencing how we think, feel and behave. These events, whether they’re singular moments or prolonged experiences, can define what we understand as trauma.

But what exactly is trauma? How does it shape our perceptions, our reactions, and our very identity?

Before we delve into the healing power of EMDR, it’s crucial to grasp the intricate nature of trauma and its overarching impact on the human experience.

At its essence, trauma refers to the emotional, psychological and sometimes physical response to a deeply distressing or disturbing event or series of events. Beyond this definition, how does trauma shape our perceptions, our reactions and our very identity?

EMDR employs a structured eight-phase approach, targeting traumatic memories and associated negative beliefs. Here’s a simplified breakdown:

History Taking:

The therapist and client review the traumatic event(s), identifying potential target memories for processing.


Trust-building and introducing coping mechanisms to ensure the client’s safety throughout the process.


Pinpointing the specific traumatic memory, negative belief associated with it and the desired positive belief.


Using bilateral stimulation, often through guided eye movements, the therapist helps the client process the traumatic memory.


Reinforcing positive beliefs.

Body Scan:

Identifying and processing any residual physical tension related to the traumatic memory.


Returning to a state of equilibrium at the end of each session.


Ensuring the traumatic memory has been fully processed and integrating the positive outcomes into the client’s life.

Why Seek EMDR Therapy?

EMDR has been clinically proven to be effective for a wide range of trauma, from single-incident traumas like car accidents to complex traumas such as childhood abuse. Its holistic approach not only alleviates distressing symptoms, but also transforms the way traumatic memories are stored, leading to genuine and lasting healing.

Final Thoughts

In the vast world of mental health therapies, EMDR has carved out a niche for itself as a powerful tool against trauma. For those grappling with the shackles of traumatic memories, it offers a beacon of hope.

If you or someone you know is struggling with the aftermath of trauma, considering EMDR as a therapeutic option could be a transformative decision. Remember, the journey of healing is deeply personal, but you don’t have to walk it alone. With the right support and tools, recovery is within reach.