EMDR Therapy in Connecticut

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is an evidence-based treatment method for people who are coping with post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression, and other mental health conditions.

What is EMDR?

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is a research-validated treatment initially developed to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but which has evolved to address various conditions like anxiety, depression, and pain management. MellaHealth therapists are highly trained and experienced utilizing EMDR during both virtual and in-person therapy sessions.

Understanding EMDR Therapy

EMDR combines the commonly used principles of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and integrates a body-based approach, working to activate the brain for deeper healing and understanding. During EMDR, the client describes brief sections of emotionally distressing material while simultaneously focusing on an external stimulus. While the most common stimulus is lateral eye movements (directed by the therapist), other types of stimuli can include hand tapping and audio stimulation. EMDR utilizes an adaptive information processing theory, simply meaning that the approach involves identifying the known adaptive information about the stressful situation while working through the distressing components.

The Science Behind EMDR Therapy

EMDR therapy is based on the Adaptive Information Processing (AIP) model, which indicates that the brain is inherently driven to move towards psychological health. Traumatic events can hinder this natural process, causing memories to be stored in a dysfunctional way. EMDR therapy seeks to reprocess these memories, letting the brain store them in a way that is no longer distressing, and allows you to integrate these memories.

How EMDR Therapy Works

During EMDR Therapy, your therapist will guide you to recall a traumatic memory while simultaneously focusing on the external stimulus of bilateral eye movements. This process helps to facilitate reprocessing traumatic memories, resulting in the memory being stored in the brain in a way that is no longer distressing. The therapy involves eight phases, each designed to ensure that the traumatic memory is fully processed.

Who Can Benefit from EMDR Therapy?

 EMDR Therapy is an effective treatment if you are experiencing PTSD, anxiety, depression, and other conditions where distressing memories or experiences play a serious role. It is a versatile therapy that can be adapted to many different needs.

Tips for Maximizing Your EMDR Therapy Experience

 Here are some tips to help you navigate through EMDR therapy:

    • Engage Fully: Your active participation is important. Share your genuine (unfiltered) thoughts, feelings, and experiences with your therapist to enhance the effectiveness of therapy. Engaging fully in each session and applying learned strategies outside of therapy will help facilitate positive treatment outcomes.
    • Prioritize Self-Care: Your well-being is paramount. Engage in self-care activities and utilize your support systems during your therapy journey to ensure that you are taking care of yourself holistically.
    • Keep a Journal: Documenting your thoughts, feelings and experiences between sessions can provide valuable insights during therapy and serve as a reflective tool throughout your journey.
    • Be Patient: Healing takes time. Be patient with yourself and recognize that progress may be gradual.

These tips will help to provide guidance on how to navigate through EMDR therapy effectively. Your therapist will provide a supportive environment for you to work on healing and your overall well-being.


How long does an EMDR session typically last?

EMDR sessions can vary in length but typically last approximately 45-60 minutes. The duration and frequency of sessions will be discussed and agreed upon with your therapist to ensure they align with your unique therapeutic goals and needs.

Can EMDR be conducted virtually?

Yes. Studies have shown that outcomes from virtual and in-person EMDR therapy are comparable in most situations.

Is EMDR only for individuals with PTSD?

While EMDR was initially developed to treat PTSD, research supports a broader application of this intervention to address other mental health including anxiety, depression, and pain management, among others.