Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing 


Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is a psychotherapy technique that enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of all disturbing life experiences, not only severe traumas. It can also help clients to regulate their affect.

Repeated studies show that by using EMDR therapy people can experience the benefits of psychotherapy that once took years to make a difference. It is widely assumed that severe emotional pain requires a long time to heal.  EMDR therapy shows that the mind can in fact heal from psychological trauma much as the body recovers from physical trauma.

Some examples of EMDR studies:

  • A 2012 study* found that EMDR therapy helped 77 percent of the individuals with psychotic disorder and PTSD. It found that their hallucinations, delusions, anxiety, and depression symptoms were significantly improved after treatment. The study also found that symptoms were not exacerbated during treatment.
  • An older study ** that compared EMDR therapy to typical prolonged exposure therapy, found that EMDR therapy was more effective in treating symptoms. The study also found that EMDR therapy had a lower dropout rate from participants. Both, however, offered a reduction in the symptoms of traumatic stress, including both anxiety and depression.
  • Several small studies have also found evidence that EMDR therapy is not only effective in the short term, but that its effects can be maintained long term. One 2004 study*** evaluated people several months after they were given either “standard care” (SC) treatment for PTSD or EMDR therapy. During and immediately after treatment, they noticed that EMDR was significantly more efficient in reducing symptoms of PTSD. During the three- and six-month follow-ups, they also recognized that participants maintained these benefits long after the treatment had ended. Overall, the study found that EMDR therapy gave people a longer-lasting reduction in symptoms than SC.
  • Regarding depression, one study**** conducted in an inpatient setting found that EMDR therapy shows promise in treating the disorder. The study found that 68 percent of the people in the EMDR group showed full remission after treatment. The EMDR group also showed a stronger decrease in depressive symptoms overall. Because of the small sample size, more research is needed.


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Confidentiality and Limits to Confidentiality

In PsychologyHub we follow Codes of Professional Ethics of The Psychological Society of Ireland, Irish Council of Psychotherapy Ethical Guidelines and follow Children First Guidelines for the Protection and Welfare of Children.  We guarantee confidential services, except in the following circumstances:

  • When there is risk of imminent danger to self or to another person, the clinician is ethically bound to take necessary steps to prevent such danger.
  • When there is suspicion that a child or elder is being sexually or physically abused or is at risk of such abuse, by someone in the present or the past the clinician is legally required to take steps to protect the child, and to inform the proper .
  • When a valid court order is issued for medical records, the clinician and the agency are bound by law to comply with such requests.

Should a third party need to be informed in such situations, where possible this will first be discussed with the client.