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How to Choose a Therapist

Picking an EMDR Therapist?

Everything you need to know about finding an EMDR Therapist best suited for you!

Choosing a therapist is an important step in your journey to psychological and emotional health.

  • Your therapist needs to feel right to you.
  • You need to feel safe, heard, and validated.
  • Your therapist needs to work with you in helping discover the origins of your concerns and how best to treat them.
  • Your therapist needs to have many skills, one of which is EMDR.
  • Your therapist needs to have the ability to utilize all their skills, including EMDR, in combinations that accomplish your treatment goals.
  • A therapist who only uses one approach will see your issues from only one perspective. As the saying goes “If all I have is a hammer, everything is a nail!”

What to look for regarding EMDR therapy

  • Is the therapist appropriately trained in EMDR?

Only therapists that have taken an EMDRIA Approved EMDR Training Course are considered by EMDR’s governing body EMDRIA, to be fully trained in EMDR

  • Are all EMDRIA approved trainings the same?

No – not all trainings are the same. Some training stress protocols and procedures while others have an interpersonal approach working with you to design the best treatment possible. EMDR Consulting stresses an interpersonal approach to using EMDR.

How do I know if the therapist specializes in EMDR?

  • Therapists listed on our Find a Therapist page have been fully trained by EMDR Consulting and are using EMDR as a part of their clinical practice.
  • EMDRIA’s “Find an EMDR Therapist” page is a wonderful resource to help you find EMDR therapists in your area who are interested enough in EMDR to join an EMDR professional association.
    • Does the therapist attend EMDRIA conferences and/or advanced EMDR specific workshops?
    • Search for EMDR Certified Clinicians. Certification indicates clinician who have sought additional training and consultation to improve their EMDR skills.
    • Search for Approved Consultants since they have invested even more time and skills to the point where they can teach others how to use the EMDR.

What will an EMDR therapy session look like?

Overall Treatment Planning

  • You have come to treatment expressing concerns.
  • Your therapist will help you understand the dynamics of the presenting concerns and how to adaptively manage them.
  • An overall treatment plan will be developed that will accomplish your goals.
  • Within that treatment plan, EMDR therapy, along with other therapy approaches, will be used to accomplish your treatment goals.

The EMDR treatment session

  • You will be asked, through a set of questions, to access and activate the negative experience and the desired adaptive resolution.
  • Sets of rapid eye movement (or other forms of bilateral stimulation) will be applied.
  • You will be encouraged to just “free associate” and allow the brain to work through the experience.
  • Sets of eye movements will be alternated with brief reports about what you are experiencing.
  • EMDR processing will continue until the past experience has been updated to an adaptive present perspective.
    • With long standing issues, this process may take multiple sessions.

Using what you’ve learned

Once the disturbing experiences have been updated, you and your therapist will work together to integrate these new insights and perspectives into your daily life.

Is it necessary to tell my therapist all the details about my problems in order for it to be processed?

  • No, it is not necessary to talk about all the details of your experiences for them to be processed.

Will I get emotional?

  • Possibly, you may. Emotions and sensations may come up during processing; although, you will be prepared and your therapist will help you safely manage them. Once they are processed, they rarely come back!

Is EMDR like hypnosis?

  • No, during EMDR processing, you are present and fully in control.

Is EMDR a brief treatment?

  • EMDR, as with all treatment approaches, will help you accomplish your treatment goals.
  • The length of time that takes is dependent upon the complexity of your problems.
  • Frequently, EMDR is only one of several treatment approaches that will be used to help you reach your treatment goals.


What is EMDR?

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), as with most therapy approaches, focuses on the individual’s present concerns. EMDR’s approach, however, considers past experiences are being activated by present or future anticipated experiences.

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