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Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jul 7, 2024.

What is eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR)?

EMDR is a type of mental health therapy. EMDR is most often used to treat posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The goal of therapy is to decrease symptoms of anxiety, depression, and unwanted thoughts, as much as possible. EMDR may be combined with medicines or other therapies to help treat your PTSD.

What happens before EMDR?

What happens during EMDR?

What do I need to do after EMDR?

Keep a journal of your symptoms and what triggers them. Write down any dreams or new thoughts about the traumatic event. Write down any skill that worked to help decrease symptoms, such as deep breathing. Bring the journal to your next visit.

Call 911 for any of the following:

When should I contact my healthcare provider?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.