In the world of therapy and mental health treatment, there are various approaches that aim to help individuals cope with past traumas, anxiety, depression, and other emotional challenges. Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is one such approach that has gained significant attention. Developed by Francine Shapiro in the late 1980s, EMDR therapy has gained widespread recognition for its unique benefits in addressing various mental health challenges.  

EMDR therapy works on the premise that traumatic memories can become “stuck” in the brain, causing emotional distress and negative beliefs about oneself. The client focusses on the target memory while simultaneously following the therapist’s hand movements or other forms of bilateral stimulation. This process helps to free the traumatic memory and allow the brain to process it in a more adaptive way.  

At its core, EMDR therapy is renowned for its success in treating trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Research consistently supports its efficacy, demonstrating significant reductions in trauma-related symptoms and distressing memories. This therapeutic approach empowers individuals to confront and heal from past traumas effectively.  

One of the most striking benefits of EMDR therapy is its capacity to deliver quick and lasting results. Compared to some traditional therapeutic techniques, clients often report experiencing relief from distressing symptoms in a brief period. This short progress can provide much needed hope and encouragement on the path to healing.  

Furthermore, individuals who have undergone EMDR therapy frequently report a significant reduction in intrusive thoughts and distressing flashbacks associated with traumatic memories. By reprocessing these memories, EMDR therapy enables clients to gain control over their emotional responses, leading to a more peaceful and balanced life.  

While initially designed for trauma, EMDR therapy has shown remarkable adaptability in addressing a wide range of mental health issues such as clients reporting relief from anxiety disorders, phobias, depression and more. This versatility makes it a valuable tool for therapists and clients alike, offering a holistic approach to emotional wellbeing.  

Additionally, EMDR therapy delves into the core of negative self-beliefs and allows them to be reframed into positive self-perceptions. As traumatic memories are reprocessed, individuals often experience a boost in self-esteem and self-worth. This shift in self-perception can be a powerful catalyst for personal growth.  

The benefits of EMDR therapy are both profound and well documented. Its effectiveness in resolving trauma, rapid relief from emotional distress, versatility in addressing mental health challenges, and positive impact on self-esteem making it a valuable resource for those seeking healing. It offers hope and recovery to those who have experienced emotional distress and helps individuals move forward in their lives with a renewed sense of well-being.  


EMDR Toolbox: Theory and Treatment of Complex PTSD and Dissociation 

by Jim Knipe 


About the Author, Letisha Rao

Letisha is in her final year of a Bachelor of Science in Psychology at the University of Canberra.

Our speech pathology and psychology clinic is located in Braddon, ACT, in Canberra’s CBD. Call us on 5117 4890 or email to get in touch.

In Positive Health, Canberra. Nel MacBean Speech Pathologist Canberra. Campbell MacBean Psychologist Canberra. Sally Arthur Psycholgist. Brent Holgate Psychologist.