EMDR Therapy in Orlando, FL

At Embrace Authenticity Counseling, we offer Trauma focused therapies that specifically approach your concerns with a Trauma informed, and inclusive lens in person in Orlando Florida and throughout Florida virtually.

Middle aged woman on therapy session in psychologist's office. Therapist counselor social worker talking to 40s female patient taking notes. Psychology psychotherapy treatment support mental health

What is EMDR?

EMDR Therapy, or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy is a structured therapeutic intervention focused on using bilateral stimulation (eye movement, tapping, or sound) and focusing on a specific trauma memory, sensation, and cognition (thoughts associated with the memory). This has shown significant reduction in the impact and intensity or recalling the trauma memory. EMDR therapy has been shown to help support symptoms of PTSD, trauma as well as anxiety, depression, OCD, chronic pain, substance use and distressing memories (Maxfield, 2019).

What is an EMDR Session Like?

If you're curious what it will be like in your EMDR therapy sessions, you are not alone. EMDR therapy can be overwhelming at first but in your first session with your therapist they will break it down to manageable steps.

EMDR Therapy utilizes 8 phases over a period of time. Each phase has a flexible time frame and there are no set number of sessions in each phase of EMDR Therapy.

Phase one; Information gathering: This phase of EMDR Therapy aims to introduce the concepts of EMDR therapy and help create a framework for subsequent phases. In Phase 1 of EMDR therapy we will discuss your history and background as well as asses for anxiety, depression, PTSD, and other dissociative disorders. We will review in depth how EMDR Therapy works, the process and what you can expect from it. We will create a treatment plan together that focuses on targeting the area of trauma you are suffering with.

Phase two; Preparation: In this phase of EMDR Therapy you will learn grounding skills, visualizations, somatic body techniques, that will help provide support and comfort. We will utilize your current strengths and add to your skill set to grow and expand your resources. We will discuss how the mind and body work and educate on the impact of trauma on the body. We will practice bi-lateral Stimulation which will be utilized in EMDR therapy phases 2-8.

Phase three and four; Activating & Desensitization: You will utilize the plan created in Phase one of EMDR therapy to activate the target memory and begin desensitizing you to the target memory. We will begin to activate the target memory and use bi-lateral Stimulation to reduce the intensity of mind and bodily sensations related to the target memory.

Phase five & six; Installation and Body Scan: In these phases of EMDR therapy we will reinforce a more helpful thought and reflection associated to the target memory to help ease the physical and neurological response to the memory. This will occur using the bi-lateral Stimulation. We will then perform a body scan (from phase two) to further reinforce the benefits of installing the target memory.

Phase seven; Closure: This is the opportunity to utilize strategies learned in phase two of EMDR therapy as well as other coping strategies and a chance to reflect on your experience. Your therapist will walk you through the next steps, what to expect in between sessions and answer any questions that may arise.

Phase eight; Future Template: This session will help to use the positive cognition you installed in phase five of EMDR therapy, to apply to future scenarios that you identify with your therapist as potential for anxiety or trauma responses presenting. You will utilize bi-lateral stimulation to strengthen the skills you gained from previous phases to prepare you for the future.

When Does EMDR Therapy start working?

You may notice the effects of EMDR therapy as soon as phase 2 begins. Many of our clients report feeling relaxed and more at ease after completing a session of Bi-Lateral Stimulation and mindfulness activities. EMDR Therapy sessions can range anywhere from 60 to 90 minutes and you may notice that you feel different emotions throughout. You may experience deeper rest, feelings of relaxation and many of our clients report a decrease in PTSD symptoms after completion of the eight phase.


Can EMDR help with my anxiety?

Yes. Although EMDR Therapy is known best as a treatment for PTSD and Trauma disorders, there is some evidence that it can help with Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Phobias, agoraphobia, performance anxiety, body dysmorphic disorder, anger, however it is preliminary at this time. Your trauma therapist will review with you what therapy options are available to you and you will decide together if EMDR Therapy is the right approach.

“EMDR [Therapy] has completely changed how I experience my trauma. I didn’t know what to expect at first but the benefit is so huge. Everyone should experience it.

Client feedback after completion of Phase 8