A Closer Look at EMDR Procedures & Risks

Q: Does EMDR therapy involve risks?

A: As with any psychotherapy, it's important to choose a mental health practitioner who has formal training in the style of therapy being used. Since EMDR can be an especially intense form of treatment, the practitioner should be very familiar with how to apply it to each patient's unique problem, emotional stability, medical condition, etc.

This can directly affect the speed and success of the therapy. Clients can check on the training of their therapist through the following websites: www.emdria.org and www.emdr.com

Q: How do I know if I am a candidate for EMDR therapy?

A: EMDR has a wide range of applications for clients who suffer from very violent, scary, or dangerous experiences or who show symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.

However, the therapy is also used to help people work through experiences that were not life-threatening, but continue to impede their lives in areas of self-esteem, confidence, desirability, etc.

Q: How do I find an EMDR-trained therapist?

A: As EMDR has gained increased recognition over the years in treating post-traumatic stress disorders, the therapy has become more widespread. Currently, there are more than 30,000 EMDR-trained therapists worldwide. The EMDR International Association website provides a search function to find certified therapists at www.emdria.org. Also a number of therapists provide pro bono training and humanitarian assistance worldwide. These programs can be viewed at www.emdrhap.org.

Q: Will my insurance pay for it?

A: The costs of sessions vary as does mental health coverage from plan to plan, but EMDR is considered a standard form of psychotherapy.

However, since it is relatively new, your doctor might not be familiar with all of the research supporting it. In that case, the EMDR International Association provides a packet of information for its members that discusses EMDR and the studies that support it. It may be helpful to show this to your doctor.

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