emdr therapy for anxiety


If you’re struggling with anxiety, you may have heard of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy. EMDR is a type of psychotherapy that has been proven to be effective in treating the symptoms of anxiety. It’s an evidence-based therapy that uses eye movements to help people process traumatic memories and reduce the symptoms associated with them. EMDR can also help people understand how their past experiences are affecting their current lives and behaviors, helping them to create healthier patterns in the future. It’s a great tool for those looking for relief from anxiety, and there are many qualified practitioners who can provide this service. EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapy is a type of psychotherapy that helps people to manage their anxiety. It works by using a combination of eye movements, physical stimulation, and cognitive processing techniques to help the person reduce their anxiety symptoms. During the therapy, the person focuses on a traumatic or distressing event while they are guided through alternating eye movements. This helps to reduce the intensity of emotions associated with the event, allowing them to better process and cope with it in a healthier way. EMDR has been found to be very effective for treating anxiety and trauma-related symptoms such as panic attacks, phobias, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The Benefits of EMDR Therapy for Anxiety

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapy is a type of psychotherapy that has been used to treat individuals with anxiety and other forms of mental health issues. It involves rapid eye movements which are believed to help the individual process traumatic experiences, reduce the intensity of their emotions, and develop healthier coping skills. EMDR therapy has been found to be effective in reducing anxiety symptoms, improving quality of life, and helping individuals to better manage their emotions.

EMDR therapy works by helping an individual to reprocess negative thoughts and memories associated with a traumatic event or experience. The therapist will guide the individual through a series of eye movements while they focus on a particular emotion or thought. During this process, the individual will become more aware of their thoughts and feelings associated with the event or experience, allowing them to process it in a healthier way. This can help reduce symptoms such as panic attacks, intrusive thoughts, flashbacks, nightmares, as well as physical symptoms such as tension headaches or chest pain.

In addition to reducing anxiety symptoms, EMDR therapy can also help an individual to develop healthier coping skills. By focusing on specific memories or events while engaging in eye movements, individuals can learn how to better manage their emotions in response to stressors. This can lead to improved self-esteem and greater emotional resilience which can be beneficial for managing future anxiety-provoking situations.

One of the main benefits associated with EMDR therapy is its efficacy in treating individuals with severe trauma-related issues such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Studies have shown that EMDR can be used effectively for treating PTSD by helping individuals reprocess memories associated with a traumatic event. This can lead to reduced symptoms such as flashbacks, nightmares, intrusive thoughts, and avoidance behaviors.

Therefore, EMDR therapy has been found to be effective in reducing symptoms of depression and other mood disorders. By helping an individual process negative emotions associated with past experiences or events, EMDR therapy can help reduce feelings of sadness or hopelessness which are common among those suffering from depression.

Overall, EMDR therapy is an effective treatment option for those suffering from anxiety or other mental health issues. It works by helping individuals reprocess negative experiences associated with trauma and provides them with tools for managing their emotions more effectively. Additionally, it has been found to be helpful in treating PTSD as well as reducing depression symptoms.

What is EMDR Therapy?

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is a relatively new form of psychotherapy that has been used since the early 1990s to treat anxiety disorders, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It is based on the idea that our brains are able to process traumatic memories more effectively with the help of certain types of stimuli. EMDR therapists use bilateral stimulation, such as alternating left and right eye movements, tapping, and/or tones, to help the patient reprocess traumatic memories. This can help them gain better insight into their experiences and develop healthier coping skills.

How Does EMDR Therapy Work?

During an EMDR session, the therapist will ask the patient to recall a traumatic memory while they experience a type of bilateral stimulation. This could be done by having them follow their therapist’s finger with their eyes while they tap alternately on either side of their body or listen to tones in each ear. As the patient focuses on their memory while experiencing the stimulation, they are encouraged to observe all thoughts and feelings associated with it without judgement or resistance.

The idea behind EMDR therapy is that this stimulation helps the brain reprocess traumatic memories in a healthier way so that they can be better managed in everyday life. The therapist might ask questions during these sessions about how the patient feels about themselves now compared to before they experienced this trauma or what changes they can make in order to cope better. By engaging in this dialogue and reflecting on these topics during each session, patients can learn how to manage these memories more effectively in order to reduce anxiety and other symptoms associated with PTSD or other anxiety disorders.

Benefits of EMDR Therapy for Anxiety

Research has found that EMDR therapy is an effective treatment for reducing symptoms of anxiety. Studies have shown that patients who received this form of therapy experienced decreased levels of stress, depression, and PTSD symptoms after just eight sessions. Other benefits include improved sleep quality, increased self-confidence, improved relationships with others, less intrusive thoughts related to trauma, and increased emotional regulation skills. Additionally, many people find it easier to talk about their trauma after undergoing EMDR therapy as opposed to traditional talk therapy methods.

Overall, EMDR therapy can provide people who suffer from anxiety disorders with a safe and effective way to address their symptoms without relying solely on medication or other forms of traditional talk therapy. By helping them reprocess traumatic memories in a healthy way while also providing them with strategies for managing those memories going forward, this type of therapy has been found to be highly beneficial for many people struggling with anxiety disorders.

Types of Anxiety Treated with EMDR

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapy is an evidence-based approach to treating anxiety and other psychological issues. This type of therapy uses eye movements, sounds, or taps to process traumatic memories or experiences. EMDR can help individuals reduce the intensity of symptoms associated with anxiety, such as fear, panic attacks, and physical symptoms like sweating, trembling, and racing heart.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder: Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is characterized by persistent worry and fear that can interfere with daily functioning. It often causes physical symptoms such as muscle tension, headaches, fatigue, difficulty sleeping, irritability, and difficulty concentrating. EMDR can help individuals reduce their anxious thoughts and feelings by processing their fear-producing memories or experiences in a safe environment.

Social Anxiety: Social Anxiety is a fear of being judged by others or feeling embarrassed in social situations. Individuals with social anxiety may feel uncomfortable talking to people they don’t know or are afraid to speak in front of large groups. EMDR can help individuals process their fearful memories or experiences related to social situations so they can feel more relaxed in those scenarios.

Panic Disorder: Panic disorder involves recurrent episodes of intense fear or terror that come on suddenly and without warning. These episodes can cause physical symptoms such as chest pain, palpitations, shortness of breath, sweating, shaking hands/feet/legs/arms/fingers/lips/jaw etc., dizziness or faintness. EMDR helps individuals become aware of the triggers associated with these panic attacks so they can be better prepared for them in the future.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is characterized by unwanted thoughts (obsessions) or behaviors (compulsions) that an individual feels compelled to repeat over and over again despite knowing that they are irrational. Examples include repetitive handwashing rituals or checking locks multiple times before leaving the house. EMDR helps individuals become aware of the triggers associated with these obsessive-compulsive behaviors so they can be better prepared for them in the future.

EMDR is a powerful tool for reducing the symptoms associated with anxiety disorders and improving overall wellbeing. If you are struggling with anxiety or other psychological issues it might be worth exploring whether this type of therapy could help you manage your symptoms more effectively.

Who Can Benefit from EMDR Therapy for Anxiety?

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) Therapy is a powerful tool for treating anxiety disorders. It has been proven to be extremely effective in reducing symptoms of various forms of anxiety, such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Panic Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and other phobias. EMDR is an evidence-based therapy that can help people learn to manage their emotions and reactions in a more adaptive way.

EMDR Therapy can be beneficial for anyone who struggles with an anxiety disorder as it can help them gain insight into their condition and learn new skills to manage the symptoms of their disorder. It can also be used to treat individuals who are not officially diagnosed with an anxiety disorder but still struggle with significant levels of stress or fear. People who have experienced a traumatic event or are dealing with prolonged distress may also benefit from EMDR Therapy.

The therapy utilizes bilateral stimulation, such as eye movements, tones or taps on the body, in order to access information stored in the brain that is related to the source of distress. During sessions, individuals will be guided by a qualified therapist as they recall the traumatic event or difficult memories associated with their anxiety while engaging in the bilateral stimulation. This allows them to process these memories in a safe environment and gradually reduce their emotional intensity around them.

Through EMDR Therapy, individuals will learn new ways of thinking about their experiences and develop coping strategies that will allow them to manage their feelings more effectively. They will learn how to view stressful situations differently and gain insight into how their thoughts and behaviors are impacting their current state of mind. The goal is for individuals to become more self-aware so that they can actively work towards creating a healthier emotional state.

EMDR has been found to be particularly effective when it comes to treating PTSD as it helps reduce the symptoms associated with this condition including flashbacks, nightmares, intrusive thoughts and strong emotional reactions. Additionally, those struggling with phobias or panic attacks may find relief from this type of therapy as it helps desensitize individuals towards feared objects or situations.

The benefits of EMDR Therapy for those struggling with anxiety are numerous; however, it is important that individuals consult with a qualified mental health professional before embarking on this journey. A trained therapist will be able to assess an individual’s needs and determine if this type of treatment would be beneficial for them.

What to Expect During EMDR Therapy Sessions for Anxiety

EMDR therapy (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) can be a powerful tool to help individuals manage their anxiety. While the therapy has been used since the 1980s, it has been gaining more attention in recent years for its effectiveness in helping people cope with trauma and anxiety. During EMDR therapy sessions, individuals can expect to work through their triggers, discuss their experiences, and learn techniques to manage their symptoms.

The main focus of EMDR therapy is on helping the individual identify and address the underlying causes of their anxiety. This is done through a series of guided questions that will help the therapist pinpoint areas of concern and develop an individualized treatment plan. During each session, the therapist will ask questions about past experiences, current behaviors, and future goals. As the therapy progresses, the individual will be encouraged to share any memories or experiences that are related to their anxiety. The therapist will use these memories as a way to understand how they are feeling and what may be causing them distress or discomfort.

Once an understanding of what triggers the individual’s anxiety has been established, the therapist will then move onto discussing techniques to manage it. This could include breathing exercises, relaxation techniques, cognitive-behavioral strategies, or even journaling activities. Depending on the severity of the individual’s anxiety, medications may also be prescribed in order to help reduce symptoms. The therapist’s role during this portion of treatment is to provide support while also giving guidance on how best to cope with anxious thoughts and feelings.

The final stage of EMDR therapy sessions involves creating a plan for continuing care after treatment ends. This could include follow-up sessions with your therapist or referrals for other forms of mental health services such as counseling or group therapy. It is important that individuals have a plan in place so that they can continue working towards managing their anxiety once treatment has ended.

At each step throughout EMDR therapy sessions for anxiety, it is important that individuals feel comfortable talking openly with their therapists about their experiences and feelings. It can be beneficial for individuals to make sure they feel comfortable asking questions throughout treatment so that they can get the most out of each session and understand what steps need to be taken in order for them to better manage their anxiety long-term.

Preparing for an EMDR Session for Anxiety

Anxiety can be a crippling condition, leaving you feeling overwhelmed, scared, and unable to cope. It can stop you from living your life in the way that you want to. EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapy is a form of psychotherapy that has been used to treat anxiety since the 1990s. It is a form of cognitive-behavioral therapy that helps people process traumatic memories and experiences that have been contributing to their anxiety. Preparing for an EMDR session can ensure that you get the most out of your experience and start feeling better as quickly as possible.

One of the most important steps in preparing for an EMDR session is understanding what it is and what it will involve. Doing this research ahead of time will help you feel more comfortable going into the session and make sure you know what to expect. It’s also important to talk to your therapist about any questions or concerns you may have before the session begins. This will help them tailor your treatment plan specifically to your needs.

Before the EMDR session, it’s also important to gather any materials or information that may be helpful during the session. This could include photographs, documents, or even something as simple as a list of memories or experiences that have been contributing to your anxiety. Having these items on hand will help your therapist get an idea of where to start during the session and ensure they are getting all the information they need from you in order to provide effective treatment.

The day of the EMDR session, it’s also important to make sure you are well-rested and comfortable with whatever clothing items or accessories you choose to wear (e.G., glasses). Wearing comfortable clothing items such as loose-fitting pants or a t-shirt can help create a relaxed atmosphere during the session which will allow for more effective processing of traumatic memories and experiences. Additionally, make sure you have something sugary like candy or juice with you so you can take small sips throughout the session if needed, as this helps keep energy levels up during long sessions.

It’s also important not to forget about taking care of yourself after an EMDR session has ended – even if all goes well during it! Make sure you give yourself time afterwards for self-care such as taking a hot bath, reading a book, listening to music – whatever helps calm your mind! Taking care of yourself afterwards is just as important as preparing beforehand because it allows your brain time process all that has happened during the session without being overwhelmed by everyday life stressors right away.

Overall, preparing for an EMDR session is essential if one hopes to get maximum benefit from their experience and start feeling better soon thereafter! Doing research ahead of time about what exactly EMDR entails, talking with one’s therapist about any questions or concerns beforehand, gathering any pertinent materials before hand – all these steps are key in making sure one gets off on the right foot with their therapy journey towards recovery from anxiety!

Aftercare and Follow-up After an EMDR Session for Anxiety

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a type of psychotherapy that can help reduce symptoms of anxiety. After an EMDR session, it’s important to follow up with aftercare to ensure the best outcome. This includes:

  • Making sure you have the resources you need to cope with any lingering effects of the session
  • Using relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or visualization
  • Developing a plan for dealing with triggers that may arise in the future
  • Checking in with your therapist regularly to monitor your progress

It’s also important to remember that EMDR is not a one-time fix; it requires ongoing work and support. After you have completed your EMDR sessions, it’s important to maintain a regular practice of self-care, relaxation, and healthy coping strategies. This may include setting aside time for yourself each day, engaging in physical activities such as yoga or meditation, journaling, or connecting with supportive friends and family members.

During follow-up visits with your therapist, it’s also important to discuss any new developments that may have occurred since your last session. For example, if you have experienced any new emotions or triggers since the last time you saw your therapist, it can be helpful to discuss these in detail. This will give your therapist an opportunity to provide additional help and guidance if needed.

Therefore, if you are struggling with any symptoms of anxiety after an EMDR session, reach out for help from trusted friends or family members. It is also a good idea to speak with your doctor or therapist about any lingering effects of the session so they can provide additional support and assistance.

The process of recovery from anxiety is often a long one; however, by following up on aftercare after an EMDR session and continuing to practice self-care strategies on a regular basis, you can begin to feel more confident in managing symptoms of anxiety. With time and continued effort, you can find relief from anxiety.

Wrapping Up About EMDR Therapy for Anxiety

EMDR therapy can be an effective and efficient way to address anxiety issues. It is a non-invasive, evidence-based approach that has been proven to reduce symptoms of anxiety in many people. It works by targeting the underlying issues that contribute to anxiety, such as unresolved trauma or negative thoughts. EMDR can help people gain insight into their feelings and behaviors, allowing them to make changes that can lead to a happier, healthier life.

The best part about EMDR is that it can be tailored to each individual’s needs and goals. It allows the therapist and the client to work together to identify the underlying causes of their anxiety and develop strategies for coping with it. While it may take some time before a person fully sees results from EMDR therapy, it can be an invaluable tool in taking back control of one’s life from anxiety.

The key is finding the right therapist who is trained in EMDR therapy and skilled in helping individuals learn how to manage their anxiety. If you’re considering using EMDR therapy for your own mental health needs, remember that you are not alone and there are resources available to help you on your journey towards better mental health.

In reflection, EMDR therapy can provide relief from symptoms of anxiety by helping people gain insight into their emotions and behaviors, as well as learning new strategies for managing their condition. With the right therapist and commitment from the client, this form of treatment could lead to lasting change and improved mental health outcomes.


Author Bio:

P. Cutler is a passionate writer and mental health advocate based in England, United Kingdom. With a deep understanding of therapy's impact on personal growth and emotional well-being, P. Cutler has dedicated their writing career to exploring and shedding light on all aspects of therapy.

Through their articles, they aim to promote awareness, provide valuable insights, and support individuals and trainees in their journey towards emotional healing and self-discovery.

Counselling UK