What is EMDR therapy? 

In this blog we will be talking about EMDR therapy, EMDR therapists, the sessions in EMDR therapy and their average cost and more information about EMDR therapy.

What is EMDR therapy? 

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (Emdr) therapy is a kind of psychotherapy that helps patients work better with traumatic memories. It’s used for people who have been through a lot in their lives and have been unable to cope. 

In most cases, they revisit sensory information from one particular trauma with the help of a therapist so as not to be distracted from the present day issues they face. In most instances, these patients will likely need several sessions before they can completely work through traumatic moments from their history.

This kind of psychotherapy causes the outdated saying that it takes a long time to recover from emotional wounds to be changed into a more optimistic statement. This kind of psychotherapy is intended to help patients overcome traumatic events that cause them pain and grief. The basis for this kind of treatment comes from studying Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep because it’s during this time that the mind records the memories which contain painful information. 

Combining REM are techniques are intended to put patients into a calm state of non-REM sleep in order to remember what happened, then wake up feeling less stressed about their experience since everything has been resolved.

Guidelines in EMDR therapy 

Guidelines have been authorized by several psychological authorities to standardize Emdr therapy.

These kinds of guidelines focus on who can receive advantages from this kind of therapy. 

Here are some psychological authorizations that have made guidelines for Emdr therapy:

  • The American Psychiatric Association (APA) has taken into account that Emdr therapy is effective for treating symptoms of acute and complex PTSD. According to the APA, this kind of therapy may be specifically useful for people who have difficulty speaking about the traumatic events they’ve experienced. The APA guidelines have also taken into account that other studies are needed to tell whether enhancements from this therapy can be maintained over time.
  • The Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense have together authorized clinical psychology practice guidelines. These kinds of guidelines highly suggest Emdr therapy for the treatment of PTSD in both military and non-military populations. They also took into account that this approach has been as effective as other psychological treatments in some studies, and less effective in others.

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What to expect in an EMDR session? 

EMDR is broken into 8 sessions. 

During your first appointment with a therapist, they will get to know your history, including your most recent memories and experiences. You’ll then discuss a course of treatment that is unique to you and the way you manifest obsessive compulsive disorder. A detailed treatment plan will be created during this time by your therapist, who may also explain how the next few stages of treatment might work if successful.

The second part will teach you how to manage stress by demonstrating various strategies and ensuring that you have a variety of options for dealing with it. These strategies can then be applied at home in between sessions.

When you’re trying to get rid of something that’s bothering you, it’s important to remember that you’re not just dealing with the thing directly and the negative emotions associated with it. You’ve got all sorts of other things going on inside your head as well. 

Phases 3-6 will be covered by using EMDR (Eye Movement 

Desensitization and Reprocessing) to help reduce traumatic feelings such as bringing up vivid images (like looking at a picture of someone who was jerky to you), negative beliefs about yourself while focusing on the emotions and body sensations while working through these old memories. By doing this repetitively over several sessions, you’ll slowly start to notice a difference in how badly it affects you! 

On top of these treatments (EMDR), also try identifying positive thoughts/beliefs when thinking about a bad event so that when said event comes back up – it won’t affect you so much.

Phase seven will involve a closure. Your therapist may ask you to keep a record over the week documenting any problems so as to help refine the activities to enhance strengths and/ or alleviate weaknesses prior to proceeding with the next session. 

This could be very beneficial as it is an effective way to note both the strengths as well as shortcomings of previous work so as to improve your overall performance during future training sessions.

Lastly, the last phase — phase eight — takes a look at how far you’ve progressed. It’s important to process all events and current incidents which may elicit stress and future events that might trigger responses.

EMDR is an individual therapy typically delivered one to two times per week for a total of 6-12 sessions, although some people benefit from fewer sessions.

How much does EMDR therapy cost? 

Generally, the price will come down to the number of sessions needed, where you live and the professional who is doing the therapy. On average, plan on spending anywhere from $100 to $250 per hour/session, and each session, on average, should last upwards of one to two hours.

The Australian Psychological Society (APS) recommended hourly fee for Clinical Psychologists in 2021-2022 is $267 per 50 minutes and $387 for up-to 90 minutes initial assessment. 

According to a recent study done by Mavranezouli, et al. (2020) assessed the cost-effectiveness of a range of interventions for adults with PTSD in this thorough analysis. They stated: “EMDR was found to be the most cost-effective intervention for adults with PTSD.”

Eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR) appeared to be the most cost-effective intervention for adults with PTSD (with a probability of 0.34 amongst the 11 evaluated options at a cost-effectiveness threshold of £20,000/QALY), followed by combined somatic/cognitive therapies, self-help with support, psychoeducation, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), trauma-focused cognitive behavioural therapy (TF-CBT), self-help without support, non-TF-CBT and combined TF-CBT/SSRIs. Counselling appeared to be less cost-effective than no treatment. TF-CBT had the largest evidence base.

Tips to remember 

  • Everyone does not need or want to go through EMDR therapy. This treatment is recommended for those who have had traumatic experiences in their life. If you believe that you meet the criteria for this treatment session, the best thing you can do is get yourself tested. Better than booking an appointment, make sure you need to take that session, so that you don’t waste money. 
  • Many therapists may provide a bulk discount if you purchase numerous sessions at once if you discuss it with them ahead of time. This can help you save up to 20% or more, especially if you buy more than 10 sessions at once.
  • Make sure you inquire about the cancellation policy. Every therapist works on their own time. In most cases, if you cancel within 24 hours, it may charge you a full therapy fee. Some places also ask for a week’s notice prior to cancellation. 
  • Please enquire regarding alternative fee arrangements if covered by Private Medical Insurance or by other providers

Things to know before you book your first session 

You should expect Emdr therapy to be secured and the less potential of you getting side effects.

However, these side effects should be taken into account when you take this kind of therapy.

Emdr therapy has been known by most clients to trigger heightened consciousness states.

This means that you might feel light-headed that may not end even if you are done with your therapy session. 

Emdr therapy has also been reported to cause vivid and whimsical dreams.

This may occur since this kind of therapy has very long sessions to minimize PTSD symptoms as much as possible. 

This is the norm of Emdr therapy since getting rid of the distressing feelings from a traumatic event doesn’t happen overnight.


Hopefully, by now, it is clearer to you that EMDR is a very powerful type of psychotherapy which utilises a targeted approach and effectively aids in resolving cases of trauma and some types of mental disorder like anxiety and depression. 

This particular form of therapy utilises special protocols (which we went over earlier) and requires the use of special equipment to aid therapists in facilitating deep physiological and neurological changes in clients who experience difficult emotional issues linked to their past.

What we recommend for Counselling

Professional counselling

If you are suffering from depression or any other mental disorders then ongoing professional counselling could be your ideal first point of call. Counselling will utilize theories such as Cognitive behavioural therapy which will help you live a more fulfilling life.