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Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is an evidence based therapy which allows for traumatic and other distressing memories or experiences to be processed and adaptively stored in the brain with the goal of reducing frequency and intensity of triggering situations.

EMDR trauma therapy began in the 1980s when psychologist Francine Shapiro noticed while on a walk that rapid eye movements seemed to decrease her negative emotions when thinking about her own distressing memories. Through research and refinement, Dr. Shapiro developed EMDR which pairs bilateral stimulation with a cognitive protocol, having clients think about the past events or experience.

What does EMDR mean for me?

When a client participates in EMDR therapy, the practitioner uses standardized protocols to assist the client in targeting distressing memories.  This is paired with bilateral stimulation which can be accomplished through a variety of methods: rapid eye movements, tones, hand-held “clickers”, or tapping, based upon the clients comfort level.


Clients often report that after a series of sessions, they don’t think of the targeted memory as often, and there is less disturbance when recalling the memory.  Many clients choose EMDR because intense and lengthy discussion about the distressing memories is not required, and the experience is internally focused. Karuna has experienced EMDR trauma therapist to help.

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