Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

More About EMDR Therapy and How it Works

Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is a specialized process of psychotherapy that can help you successfully deal with a whole range of problems. It was initially established as a treatment for post traumatic stress – specifically for overcoming the debilitating effects of traumatic life events such as:

  • the loss (death) of loved one,
  • assault, robbery, violent crimes,
  • Physical abuse,
  • Sexual abuse and rape,
  • child abuse,
  • divorce, and
  • natural disasters

It has since been proven to be extremely helpful with a whole range of other conditions… (READ MORE ABOUT EMDR THERAPY)

How to become a Registered EMDR Therapist

EMDR is a specialized, focused form of cognitive behavioural therapy that is extremely effective in the treatment of PTSD, phobias, anxiety and a whole range of other psychological conditions. Therefore training in EMDR pre-supposes training in psychology. The basic training in EMDR (which consists of 2 levels of training) will help you to more effectively treat clients in a clinical setting. Training highlights will be::

  • Physiological overview
  • Specialized history-taking to identify focal patterns and beliefs,
  • Desensitization of traumatic memories and present anxieties,
  • Installation of positive belief structures,
  • Application in different fieds of practice .


Find Upcoming Training Events and register…

The Training of EMDR practitioners/therapists in South Africa is done by EMDR South Africa.  After thorough training and supervision a therapist is registered as an EMDR therapist.

To find the next training events OR to register for one of these EMDR training events, please follow the link below:


EMDRIA is the international association for EMDR therapists and the overseeing body for training in EMDR. Watch this video for a short introduction to the principles behind,  the effectiveness of,

 and the support for EMDR 


While EMDR may be used to eliminate overt symptoms attendant to various clinical conditions , as a psychotherapy approach its primary goal is to address the entire clinical picture in order to bring about the most comprehensive treatment effects.

The efficacy of EMDR’s application to trauma treatment has been demonstrated in approximately 20 controlled studies in which it was compared to the use of pharmaceuticals and various forms of psychotherapy. Consequently, both the practice guidelines of the American Psychiatric Association (2004) and the Departments of Veterans Affairs and of Defense (2004) have placed EMDR in the highest category of effectiveness and research support. This same status is also reflected in numerous international guidelines. A number of neurobiological studies also have demonstrated pre to post EMDR processing changes in conjunction with the remediation of trauma symptoms. Evaluations of EMDR studies have found that degree of adherence to treatment procedures and protocols is positively correlated with the size of the treatment effects.

The aforementioned practice guidelines and a number of published meta analyses  have documented that EMDR is as effective and long lasting as the most researched cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) methods. However, unlike the other forms of trauma therapy that include 30–100 hours of prescribed homework, EMDR’s effects are accomplished with only in session treatment, and with less exposure to the trauma. This difference in exposure time and homework was noted by the investigators of a National Institutes of Mental Health (NIMH) funded controlled study comparing EMDR  and prolonged exposure .

The pattern of recovery in EMDR treatment sessions allows clinicians to view a rapid progression of intrapsychic connections as emotions, insights, sensations, and memories surface and change with each new set of bilateral stimulation. Process studies and qualitative analyses have identified distinct treatment effects (including a rapid reduction of subjective distress) that differentiate EMDR from other trauma therapies.

In addition to the reduction of emotional disturbance and overt symptoms, EMDR clients experience a variety of responses indicating the emergence of comprehensive reorganization that may be reflected in changes in affect regulation and personality characteristics, cessation of chronic pain and other dysfunctional somatic reactions , and shifts in cognitive organization reflected in the number of positive memories that can be recalled post treatment .

For more detail about research on EMDR you can go to to the EMDRIA website by clicking here

You can also read the most recent research articles on EMDR by clicking here.

If you have any questions, or need more information, let’s start a conversation!

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