Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing (EMDR)

EMDR (short for eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) is a relatively new type of psychotherapy designed to help people suffering from PTSD deal with and process their traumatic memories.

At First Responders First, we like to be on the cutting edge of effective treatments, and we want you to know what to expect from EMDR.

How does EMDR work?

At the core of EMDR treatment is the understanding that emotional trauma can be worked through and healed much like physical trauma. By focusing on the past, present, and future, clients can focus on traumatic memories while building the skills needed to build a positive and healthy life.
The treatment itself is broken into eight phases

  • Phase 1 - The client’s history and readiness are analyzed, and the therapist develops a treatment plan. Traumatic memories and present-day sources of distress are identified, and initial EMDR processing is started.
  • Phase 2 - The therapist provides the client with ways to deal with emotional distress. These techniques may include imagery and stress-reduction exercises to be used in day-to-day life.
  • Phases 3 through 6 - A traumatic memory is targeted and processed with EMDR. This requires the client to identify: 
    - A visual image related to the memory
    - A negative belief about the self
    - Emotions and sensations related to these two
    - A positive belief about the self

The therapist and client work to compare the intensity of the positive and negative self-beliefs. Then, the client focuses on the image, negative belief, and bodily sensations while undergoing EMDR processing sets.

Afterward, the client lets their mind go blank to allow a thought to freely come to them. The therapist directs the client into further sets from there, as needed.

  • Phase 7 - In the closure phase, the client keeps a week-long personal log of all experiences related to the treatment and its focus.
  • Phase 8 - The therapist and client analyze the progress that’s been made in relation to past events, present life, and potential future scenarios.

We’re here to help the helpers

We deeply believe that first responders deserve whatever help they need. If you find yourself struggling with traumatic memories and PTSD, EMDR treatment may be right for you. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us for yourself or a loved one. Call us at (888) 252-5767, email admissions@firstrespondersfirst.com, or contact us online.