The 8-phase EMDR Treatment Approach
EMDR therapy unfolds in 8 phases. These phases help equip the clinician with the knowledge of the patient’s history, empower them with tools for managing emotional distress, and using desensitization and reprocessing to root out negative thoughts and responses to past trauma.
Here is a brief description of each of the 8 phases:
PHASE 1 – HISTORY:
The therapist learns the patient’s history, explores their needs and assesses their readiness for treatment, and builds trust.
PHASE 2 – PREPARATION:
The therapist helps the patient develop tools for handling emotional distress so they can manage their feelings as the process continues.
PHASE 3 – ASSESSMENT:
This is the assessment phase where the patient accesses each memory and begins to carefully reprocess it.
PHASE 4 – DESENSITIZATION:
In this phase, the focus is on desensitizing the patient by using eye movements, sounds, or taps as somatic tools.
PHASE 5 – INSTALLATION:
The installation phase is where the client concentrates on building positive beliefs to counteract their negative self-talk and feelings of powerlessness.
PHASE 6 – BODY SCAN:
In Phase 6, the patient turns their attention to the body to identify any remaining physical sensations of stress or tension so they can be targeted and processed.
PHASE 7 – CLOSURE:
Closure happens at the conclusion of each session. Self-calming techniques are used to restore equilibrium and ensure the patient leaves the session feeling better than when they started.
PHASE 8 – REEVALUATION:
Each session begins with a reevaluation. This helps the patient’s awareness of the process and allows them to accurately gauge their progress over time.