What is EMDR – Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy

What is EMDR –

EMDR is a technique initially devised by John Grindler from the NLP world and after a discussion with Francine Shapiro who had a difficult client, Shapiro took the idea and developed John Grindlers idea and constructed EMDR. (Source John Grindler)

Phases of EMDR – Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy

History-taking and Treatment Planning

During the EMDR consultation, the therapist will take the relevant historical notes and whats planned.


The EMDR equipment and process will be explained to the client


During the EMDR session, it’s important to identify how the sessions are improving or making the situation worse, which can happen. This is done by using the SUDS scale, as shown below.

Validity of Cognition (VOC) scale 

The clinician asks, “When you think of the incident, how true do those words (repeat the positive cognition) feel to you now on a scale of 1-7, where 1 feels completely false and 7 feels totally true?” 
Completely false1234567Completely true

Subjective Units of Disturbance (SUD) scale 

After the client has named the emotion he or she is feeling, the clinician asks, “On a scale of 0-10, where 0 is no disturbance or neutral and 10 is the highest disturbance you can imagine, how disturbing does it feel now?” 
No disturbance012345678910possible


The process of desensitization starts with the EMDR process


This process in EMDR starts the process to install new beliefs

Body Scan

The client will scan their body to assess any physical changes or changes that may have happened


The session will come to an end and the new targets will be set.


The next session will uncover or tell us whats happened.

EMDR is a very long and drawn-out process, it s offered by the national health service but shouldn’t be seen as a great process for everyone. In any case, it’s client-based, but please find a competent EMDR practitioner.

Be safe out there

Karl Smith

UK Hypnosis Academy

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