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The Phases of EMDR: What to Expect

therapist explaining to young woman the phases of EMDR and what to expect

Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is an evidence-based form of behavioral health therapy. It has proven especially effective in treating anxiety, panic disorders, and PTSD. An EMDR therapy program is divided into multiple phases of EMDR, and a trained mental health professional can help patients work through painful or traumatic memories in a graduated approach.

Connections Wellness Group offers an EMDR therapy program to residents of the Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas area. Call 940.360.4245 today for more information or to get started.

What Is EMDR?

Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is a type of psychotherapy used to help people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, panic disorders, and other psychological issues. It is an evidence-based practice, meaning it has been studied extensively and found to be effective in reducing symptoms of psychological distress.

How Does EMDR Work?

During EMDR, a trained mental health professional will use eye movements and other cognitive techniques to help the patient reprocess their painful or traumatic memories. This process can help the patient gain insight into their current issues, develop coping strategies, and restore healthy functioning. The goal is to reduce the intensity of painful memories, allowing the patient to process them without feeling overwhelmed.

What Are the Phases of EMDR Therapy?

The phases of EMDR therapy include the following:

History Taking

In the history taking phase, the therapist will ask questions to get a better understanding of the patient’s emotional state and any potential triggers. This phase is essential for determining the focus of the therapy session.


The preparation phase helps the patient develop skills and techniques they can use during the EMDR process if they become overwhelmed or emotionally distressed. This can include relaxation techniques or mindfulness practices.


In the assessment phase, the therapist will help the patient identify their most distressing memories in order to focus on those during therapy sessions.

Desensitization and Reprocessing (D&R)

During desensitization and reprocessing, eye movements or other cognitive exercises are used to help process traumatic memories in small doses until they no longer evoke intense emotions. This is the most critical phase of EMDR.

Installation/Body Scanning

Installation/body scanning is a process that helps patients access positive memories and experiences for comparison with their challenging ones.


Closure ends each session by helping patients return to baseline emotional states. It also helps to ensure that the patient feels safe and secure before leaving the session.


The last phase of EMDR therapy is the re-evaluation phase. During this phase, the therapist will assess the progress made during treatment and make changes to the therapeutic plan accordingly.

Learn What to Expect During EMDR by Contacting Connections Wellness Group Today

At Connections Wellness Group, our team of trained mental health professionals is here to help patients in the Dallas/Fort Worth area find the caring, comprehensive mental health services they require. We are committed to helping our patients reduce their psychological distress and improve their overall well-being with evidence-based EMDR therapy.

Call 940.360.4245 or reach out online to speak to our team of committed, compassionate professionals. They can explain the phases of EMDR and what to expect during EMDR therapy. Connections Wellness Group offers outpatient mental health services at multiple locations in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

Our comprehensive programs include the following:

  • Partial hospitalization program (PHP)
  • Intensive outpatient program (IOP)
  • Outpatient program (OP)
  • Telehealth (virtual) program
  • Teen and adolescent program
  • Children’s program
  • Women’s program
  • Eating disorder program
  • Trauma program

Do not delay! If you or a loved one are facing mental health issues that are disrupting your life, even if only in small ways, Connections Wellness Group can help. Reach out today.