How EMDR Therapy Can Help You Overcome Anxiety And Depression

EMDR therapy is a psychological treatment focusing on reducing stress associated with traumatic memories. It has proven particularly effective in addressing conditions like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depression.

This article will explore how EMDR therapy in Tempe can help beat mental disorders like anxiety and depression.

How does EMDR work for Anxiety and Depression: The Phases

EMDR is a structured therapy that follows eight distinct phases. Here’s an overview of the phases and they relate to treating anxiety and depression:

1: Initial History and Treatment Planning

EMDR therapy begins with the first phase, which involves thorough history-taking and developing a treatment plan. During this phase, the therapist identifies traumatic events or distressing memories that serve as targets for EMDR processing. These events or memories are often the key contributing factors to a patient’s anxiety or depression.

2: Preparation

The second phase is all about getting the patient ready for EMDR. The therapist ensures the patient has many good ways to manage emotional upset. They may teach coping skills and stress reduction methods during this time. This helps the patient learn how to soothe themselves.

3: Assessment 

In this phase, the therapist and patient pick out specific memories to work on. They also identify the negative feelings, beliefs, and physical feelings tied to these memories.  They will also select a positive belief to install by the end of the processing phase.

4: Desensitization 

The fourth phase is desensitization, during which the therapist leads the patient in sets of eye movements or other bilateral stimulation. This occurs while the patient briefly focuses on the target memory and notices what comes up spontaneously.

5: Installation 

The installation phase in EMDR therapy is about strengthening positive thoughts and feelings to replace negative ones. The therapist helps the client focus on positive beliefs using eye movements or taps. 

6: Body Scan 

In the sixth phase, a body scan is conducted to ensure that the traumatic event has been adequately processed and that no residual physical tension is associated with the target memory.

7: Closure 

In the seventh phase, the goal is to ensure the patient ends each session feeling better than they started. The therapist teaches the patient ways to comfort themselves. They also remind the patient to write down any new thoughts between sessions.

8: Re-evaluation 

Finally, the therapist and patient review the progress made during therapy and decide on the next steps. It’s an opportunity to ensure that all targeted traumatic events have been processed and that the patient is equipped with new coping strategies.

Benefits of EMDR Treatment

Its application in treating anxiety and depression has proven helpful for many. Not only does it help patients process traumatic memories, but it also teaches them skills to handle future anxiety and depressive symptoms.

EMDR treatment offers several benefits for individuals dealing with anxiety and depression:

  • Rapid relief from anxiety and depression symptoms.
  • Targeting and addressing the underlying causes of anxiety and depression.
  • Effective in healing trauma and reducing its impact on emotional well-being.
  • Improved emotional regulation and coping skills.
  • Restructuring negative thought patterns and fostering positive beliefs.
  • Boost in self-esteem and self-worth.


EMDR therapy offers a unique and effective approach to overcoming anxiety and depression. By targeting the root causes and addressing past traumatic experiences, EMDR helps individuals process and heal from emotional wounds. It empowers individuals with new coping skills, promotes positive beliefs, and enhances emotional regulation. With its rapid and lasting results, EMDR therapy provides hope and relief for those struggling with anxiety and depression. 

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