EMDR Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of problems can EMDR Therapy treat?


EMDR Therapy is effective in treating individuals who have experienced psychological difficulties arising from traumatic experiences. These experiences may include assault, motor vehicle accidents, war trauma, torture, natural disasters, abuse and childhood neglect.

EMDR is also used to treat complaints that are not necessarily trauma-related. Panic disorder, phobias, performance anxiety, self-esteem issues and other anxiety-related disorders can be effectively treated.

To date, EMDR has helped millions of people of all ages relieve many types of psychological distress.

It is rapid, safe and effective.

How long does EMDR therapy take?

A typical EMDR Therapy session lasts 60 - 90 minutes. The type of problem, life circumstances, and the amount of previous trauma will determine how many treatment sessions are necessary. Many clients who have made slow progress in the past, or who have not benefited from more traditional talk therapies say that with EMDR Therapy they have finally found something that works for them.

EMDR is highly recommended by:

  • The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
  • The World Health Organization (WHO)
  • The Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense
  • The American Psychiatric Association
  • The International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies

How EMDR Therapy Works

No one knows exactly how EMDR therapy works. However, we do know that when a person is very upset, their brain cannot process information as it does ordinarily.


One moment becomes "frozen in time," and, remembering a trauma may feel as bad as going through it for the first time because the images, sounds, smells, and feelings haven't changed. It's like reliving the past in the present. Such memories can have a lasting negative effect that may interfere with how a person views the world and relates to others.

EMDR therapy has a direct effect on the way the brain processes this information. Following a successful EMDR therapy session a person will see disturbing material in a new and less distressing way. What happened is still remembered but it is less upsetting.


Susan Hrovat, Registered Social Worker - Psychotherapist