EMDR therapy has been shown to be helpful in resolving symptoms caused by traumatic events including intrusive thoughts, panic, phobias, depression, painful sensations, and emotional distress including excessive guilt, anger, grief and fear, recurring nightmares and behavioral symptoms as avoiding formerly enjoyable activities.
Adult, adolescent, and child survivors of single incident traumas, multiple traumas, and of childhood abuse have responded positively to EMDR therapy. Victims of crime, combat veterans, and survivors of disasters have all benefited from EMDR therapy.
It is important to understand that EMDR therapy is not a panacea. While EMDR therapy has helped alleviate a wide range of trauma based symptoms for millions of people around the world, not every person and not every symptom is amenable to treatment with EMDR therapy. An appropriately trained mental health professional will gather information over one or more sessions to determine whether a person is a good candidate for EMDR therapy. Then it may take one or more "reprocessing" sessions to determine whether a person will respond positively to EMDR therapy.
How long will treatment take?
Studies show that symptoms related to a single traumatic incident can often be resolved in a total of three to six sessions. This includes sessions for history taking, treatment planning, preparation, reprocessing sessions and reevaluation. Treatment for survivors of multiple traumas will take longer. Survivors of prolonged trauma such as combat trauma and persistent childhood neglect and abuse have also been shown to benefit from EMDR therapy, but to achieve comprehensive improvements, more lengthy treatment is needed.
EMDR "reprocessing" is offered only within the safety of an established therapeutic relationship and after gathering enough information to develop a specific treatment plan. Your EMDR psychotherapist can often give you an estimate of the anticipated length of treatment after the first two or three visits.