The Structure of EMDR Therapy
Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy is highly structured and operates in eight different phases, each of which will be explored further.
Phase 1: History taking and treatment planning. This includes a full and comprehensive assessment and working with your therapist to identify targets for treatment, including future goals, current triggers, and memories.
Phase 2: Preparation. The therapist introduces you to EMDR, orients you to EMDR procedures, practicing the eye movement, and other components; the therapist confirms that you have adequate skills for emotional management and leads the client through the Safe/Calm Place exercise.
Phase 3: Assessing the target memory. Through assessment, the target memory is activated by identifying and targeting components of the memory such as cognition, imagery, body sensation, and affect; Subjective Units of Disturbance (SUD) and Validity of Cognition (VOC) are evaluative tools to measure changes in thoughts and feelings.
Phases 4-7: Processing the memory through adaptive resolution. This includes desensitization, installation, body scan, and closure.
Phase 4: Desensitization. You focus on the traumatic memory while engaging in eye movements and report whatever new thoughts have emerged to your therapist.
Phase 5: Installation. The preferred positive cognition/thought is strengthened.
Phase 6: Body scan. You are asked to observe your physical reactions while thinking about the memory and positive thought, as well as any outstanding somatic reaction.
Phase 7: Closure. Closure ends the session and if the memory hasn’t been fully processed and resolved in session, instructions are given to ensure safety and provide containment until the next session.
Phase 8: Re-evaluation. The therapist assesses your present psychological state, the effectiveness of treatment, whether treatment effects have been sustained, new memories that have appeared, and identifies targets for the current session.
Length of EMDR Therapy in Phoenix, AZ
EMDR is rather brief in length. Sessions are usually conducted 1-2 times per week for a total of 6-12 sessions. Your frequency of sessions may vary, and the number of sessions you require may be less than 6, depending on your symptoms and objectives.