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Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

Compassion Behavioral Health in Hollywood, Florida is committed to helping patients with all types of mental health conditions lead higher quality lives. Our state-of-the-art facilities, highly trained and experienced personnel, and commitment to the full continuum of care allows our patients to get through this difficult time in their life. We encourage you to contact us today for  more information about our EMDR program.

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Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) in Hollywood, FL

Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy helps people recover from trauma and distress with rhythmic left-right stimulation. It was initially developed by psychologist Francine Shapiro in the 1980s to treat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). 

EDMR can resolve troubling, negative memories and experiences that have been resistant to treatment in the past. It’s based on the idea that the mind can heal from psychological trauma in a similar way that the body can recover from physical trauma.

How EMDR Works

Trauma and other negative events often get “stuck” in the brain, causing negative emotions and symptoms. EMDR  can resolve this by stimulating a certain part of the brain. It focuses on the target issue and alternatively stimulates each side of the brain with eye movements. 

In most cases, EMDR sessions are one to two times a week and last up to 90 minutes. During a session, you can expect a therapist to move their fingers back and forth in front of your face. When they do so, they’ll ask you to use your eyes to follow their hand motions. 

Simultaneously, the therapist will have you recall a painful or distributing event as well as the emotions that come with it. Slowly, they’ll guide you to change your negative thoughts to more positive ones.


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What EMDR Can Help With

Even though EMDR was originally used to treat PTSD, it may also be effective for conditions such as:

  • Addiction Disorder
  • Anxiety
  • Chronic Pain
  • Depression
  • Panic Attacks
  • Panic Disorder
  • Personality Disorders
  • Phobias
  • Stress

Benefits of EMDR

There are a number of noteworthy benefits of EMDR. Unlike traditional types of therapy, EMDR doesn’t require you to go into detail about your difficult experiences. It can help you identify and change negative thoughts and emotions with minimal discomfort. 

It may also help you feel calmer and more relaxed while improving your self-esteem. While everyone has their own unique experience with EMDR, many people report noticeable results within their first three sessions.



Typically, it takes an average of 8-12 sessions to complete EMDR therapy. However, the length of treatment depends on the individual and their needs. Some people may finish in fewer than 8 sessions while others may need more time. The complexity and history of trauma can also play a role in how long EMDR takes. Your therapist will work with you to develop a treatment plan that fits your needs. Additionally, your therapist may give you homework assignments in between sessions to help speed up the process.ample Description
EMDR works by helping the brain process and integrates traumatic memories, enabling people to cope better with their emotions. It's believed that EMDR retrains our brains to remember events in a more positive light and helps us move beyond previously limiting beliefs. This allows us to process thoughts and feelings associated with trauma, enabling us to have a better understanding of our experiences.
No, EMDR is not right for everyone and not all therapists use it. It’s important to discuss your needs with a qualified therapist and make sure they have the necessary training to provide high-quality care. Additionally, some people may find that their symptoms improve more quickly with other forms of therapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).
No, EMDR is not hypnosis. Hypnosis involves a deep trance-like state with relaxation and suggestion techniques used to access the unconscious mind. In contrast, EMDR does not require any hypnotic induction or suggestion. Instead, it focuses on using eye movements or other forms of bilateral stimulation (e.g., tapping) to help the brain process traumatic memories.
During an EMDR session, your therapist will ask you to focus on a specific memory or situation that brings up strong emotional responses. You'll then be asked to follow their hand movements (or other bilateral stimulation) with your eyes while they talk you through the experience. The therapist may also ask you to describe what comes to mind during the process and will use this information to help you gain insight into your experience.
Yes, EMDR can be done virtually. Many therapists are now using telemedicine platforms to provide remote sessions. Be sure to check with your therapist first as there may be certain safety precautions and considerations that need to be taken for virtual sessions.

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Clients Who Have Completed Our Program Reported:
Reduction of PTSD Symptom
Data collected using PCL-6
Reduction of Anxiety Symptoms
Data collected using GAD-7
Reduction of Depressive Symptoms
Data collected using PHQ-9

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