EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a systematic therapy model that allows people to more rapidly process past trauma and negative thoughts and emotions. EMDR is especially effective for treating Post traumatic stress disorder, severe anxiety, and processing past pain.

It is a brain-based therapy, meaning that it’s roots are in neuroscience and the way the brain processes and stores memories both emotionally and logically. Naturally our brains store emotional memory in on part of the brain, and narrative/ language-based memories in another; this approach essentially bridges the gap which is what speeds the recovery process.


EMDR uses a form of auditory, visual, or tactile stimulation to keep both hemispheres of the brain engaged while processing. EMDR can be facilitated using the therapist’s fingers moving from side to side across your vision. It can also be facilitated using auditory means, by using a set of headphones that alternate which ear is hearing music. EMDR is also facilitated using “tappers” which are little electronic devices/ pads that emit vibration to your hands (no stronger than a cell phone)  on an alternating basis.

EMDR does require extensive training and is only available with certain therapists. This approach has detailed protocols and procedures to aid and protect the client while processing traumatic material.


Several studies have shown that clients can have results from EMDR therapy in as few as 3-6 sessions. Between 77% and 90% of participants in these studies no longer qualified for a diagnosis of Post-traumatic stress disorder following 12 sessions of EMDR. For further information regarding EMDR’s effectiveness and the principals behind it, check out the EMDR institute or EMDR international.


EMDR is NOT hypnosis or in any way related to hypnosis. During the experience you are completely aware and conscious of everything that is happening just like if you were having a standard therapy session. EMDR is NOT about digging up repressed memories. You do not have to close your eyes during the process. You do not have to verbalize things you are not ready or wanting to talk about yet. As described in the previous paragraph EMDR is simply a neurologically-based approach to help your brain reprocess information and speed your healing process.


EMDR has been around for over 25 years and has been repeatedly validated by research. It cannot be practiced without an EMDR trained therapist, so it’s availability ranges with the availability of therapists trained in the model. In the professional therapy community knowledge of the approach and it’s effectiveness has been growing and with that, the number of therapists pursuing the training to offer this modality to clients has increased.


We at Threads of Hope Counseling care deeply for you, your families, and our community. As the concern regarding the spread of COVID-19 increases worldwide, Threads of Hope is prepared to reduce the spread of illness by following the expert guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and the Minnesota Department of Health. MDH continues to stress common-sense illness prevention strategies such as sanitizing surfaces, covering your cough and sneezes, and frequent hand washing.

If you are experiencing signs and symptoms of a viral respiratory infection including fever, cough, and shortness of breath or if you or someone you have been in contact with traveled internationally in the last 14 days, please DO NOT come to our office. Instead we are happy to offer you telemedicine (online video) services.

Telemedicine appointments are HIPAA secure, do not require any downloads, and can be accessed on any device with microphone and internet access. Ask your provider or the administrative staff if this is a service you’d like to pursue.

Additionally, there is a lot of misinformation being spread regarding this virus which has inspired significant anxiety in many in the community. Look here for ideas on how to reduce your fear while remaining wise in facing the uncertainty of this disease.
We are here for you and there is always hope.