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EMDR is an adaptive information processing technique that facilitates the accessing and processing of traumatic and impactful memories and experiences to bring about an adaptive resolution. It uses rapid bilateral sensation moving back and forth across a visual field, or with bilateral body sensations. Our minds and bodies naturally work towards healing, and EMDR can facilitate healing through desensitization and processing to encourage healing and closure.

EMDR therapy has 8 consecutive phases that move from history and planning to desensitization to resolution. The EMDR phases are spread out over multiple sessions and can take a few weeks or a few months or more.

EMDR applies a bottom-up approach that involves working with difficult or traumatic experiences. We will work together to identify starting points to process, and focus on them during processing

The desensitization, processing, and integration that occurs during EMDR can continue after an EMDR ends. You may expect to encounter vivid memories, sensations, dreams or feelings for a few days after EMDR.

Items you may want to have available during EMDR processing:

  • Eye Drops

  • Something to hydrate (water, tea, etc.)

  • A blanket or coat for managing temperature

Plans after an EMDR session:

  • Observe thoughts, memories, dreams, or sensations that might arise

  • Have a plan if you have intense experiences (support from others, self care, a planned coping skill to try)

  • Gentle for you movements to practice daily


How EMDR Sessions Can Work

Processing with EMDR

EMDR can be a part of our ongoing therapy, and we can choose specific topics to process using EMDR techniques.

We can also specifically focus on EMDR as an adjunct to your existing therapy work, and focus specifically on processing selected issues..

EMDR can be included in remote and in-person sessions. With remote sessions I use a digital light bar to provide the bilateral EMDR stimulation, and in-person we either use that or a manual approach (literally, where I use my hand to create the movement). You don’t need to have great vision to participate in EMDR, and bilateral stimulation can accessed in many different ways.


A collection of little cactuses in their own pots

Have a question or want to schedule a session? Email me at rachel@drrachelrobbins for more information

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