EMDR therapy for adults in Washington State

The Power of EMDR Therapy

In the ever-evolving landscape of mental health treatments, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy stands as a beacon of hope for those seeking transformative healing from past trauma. Developed by Dr. Francine Shapiro in the late 1980s, EMDR has emerged as a groundbreaking approach that reshapes the way we process distressing experiences. But how does EMDR work? Is it really effective? And finally? Is it right for you?

What is EMDR?

EMDR, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy is a powerful, evidence-based psychotherapy for treating trauma, PTSD, anxiety, and a wide range of other mental health issues. EMDR is designed to heal emotional distress resulting from traumatic memories and has been shown over time to be effective in reducing the symptoms such as:

Panic Attacks


Eating disorders


Chronic disease


Substance Abuse


Engaging similar brain mechanisms to those involved in rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, clients will perform specific eye movements. Guided by a credentialed EMDR therapist, clients will focus on traumatic or emotionally charged memories.

How does EMDR work?

It is widely assumed that severe emotional pain requires a long time to heal. But  EMDR therapy shows that the mind can in fact heal from psychological trauma much as the body recovers from physical trauma.  When you cut your hand, your body works to close the wound.  If a foreign object or repeated injury irritates the wound, it festers and causes pain.  Once the block is removed, healing resumes.  

EMDR therapy demonstrates that a similar sequence of events occurs with mental processes.  The brain’s information processing system naturally moves toward mental health.  If the system is blocked or imbalanced by the impact of a disturbing event, the emotional wound festers and can cause intense suffering.  Once the block is removed, healing resumes.  Using the detailed protocols and procedures learned in EMDR therapy training sessions, clinicians help clients activate their natural healing processes.

What to expect in an EMDR session

EMDR therapy is an eight-phase treatment that uses eye movements (or other bilateral stimulation) during one part of the session. After the credentialed clinician has determined which memory to target first, they will ask you to hold different aspects of that event or thought in mind. The therapist will then ask you to track their hand as it moves back and forth across your field of vision. As this happens, for reasons believed to be connected with the biological mechanisms involved in Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep, internal associations arise and you will begin to process the memory and feelings associated with it.

In successful EMDR therapy, the meaning of painful events is transformed on an emotional level. For instance, a rape victim might shift from feeling horror and self-disgust to holding the firm belief that, “I survived it and I am strong.”

Unlike talk therapy, the insights clients gain in EMDR therapy result not so much from clinician interpretation, but from the client’s own accelerated intellectual and emotional processes. The net effect is that clients conclude EMDR therapy feeling empowered by the very experiences that once debilitated them.

Their wounds have not just closed, they have transformed. As a natural outcome of the EMDR therapeutic process, the clients’ thoughts, feelings and behavior are all robust indicators of emotional health and resolution—all without speaking in detail or doing homework used in other therapies.

Is EMDR right for me?

At Inside Passage Counseling, we recommend EMDR for anyone experiencing the effects of trauma or has found traditional modalities of talk therapy to be unsuccessful. EMDR goes beyond the surface, not only addressing the symptoms of distress, but also empowering individuals to reprocess and integrate traumatic experiences, fostering resilience and facilitating a journey toward lasting healing. Whether you’re a mental health professional, someone considering therapy, or just curious about cutting-edge approaches to well-being, EMDR opens up a pathway to a brighter, more resilient future.

Choose a brighter, more resilient future Today!

If you are ready to improve your emotional well-being and quality of life, contact Inside Passage Counseling today.