Mental Health

What are The Different Phases of EMDR Therapy?

EMDR therapy, also known as Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy, is an integrative and all-inclusive psychotherapy model used to treat mental conditions and trauma. This approach has been researched extensively in recent years and confirmed to be an effective way to tackle mental challenges.

EMDR therapy was reportedly developed in the 1980’s by an American psychologist named Francine Shapiro. The system developed by Shapiro is carried out in eight different phases with each stage consisting of a structured approach and specific goals. Let us discuss how each stage of an EMDR therapy is carried out.

The Stages of an EMDR Therapy

Below are the eight different stages of an EMDR therapy :

Evaluation of client history

The first session of an EMDR sets the springboard for the entire process. In this level of the therapy, the therapist initiates a thorough evaluation of the patient. The history of the patient under evaluation includes their symptoms, record of traumatic experiences, and, determining the reason for their treatment.

Preparation for EMDR

During the second phase also known as the preparation session, the therapist discusses the EMDR process with their patient. The goal of this stage is to answer any questions the patient may have and address concerns or doubts they have about the process. Furthermore, it is also done to improve the level of trust the patient has for the therapist because the therapist will also teach the patient some self-regulation methods to cope with any form of emotional stress. Check out to learn more about it.

Assessment phase

During the assessment stage, the therapist carefully examines and identifies the type of trauma that the client has experienced before proceeding. The therapist will insist that the patient gives a score to their level of emotional response to each of their traumatic memories.

Desensitization phase

To implement this phase the therapist initiates bilateral stimulation to assist the patient in processing their trauma. Bilateral stimulation involves initiating eye movements, and sounds to process trauma and help the patient manage their emotional response to each target.

Installation phase

The fifth stage is the installation phase where the therapist advises the patient to integrate the memories that they have processed into their narrative. The goal is to encourage a sense of control or mastery over the client’s trauma.

The body scan stage

In this phase, the patient has to pay focus on any additional physical sensations initiated by the therapist if they want to effectively process their memories. The goal is to tackle any residual distress they may be facing.

Closure phase

During the closure session, the client is checked to verify if they feel emotionally stable before the therapy is ended. Furthermore, the therapist will encourage the patient to practice self-regulation and self-care on their own.

The re-evaluation process

The re-evaluation stage is the final session of an EMDR session and it involves re-evaluating any progress made by the patient. Additionally, the therapist tries to address new concerns if any before adjusting the type of treatment to implement.

From the above, we can agree that the eight stages of an EMDR treatment plan provides an effective model to treat trauma and some mental challenges. It lets the therapist offer the patient an all-inclusive and individualized care program which helps them handle traumatic experiences.

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