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  • Writer's pictureKelly Hurley

Who Is A Good Candidate for EMDR Therapy?

Updated: Apr 8, 2022

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is still not as widely known or as commonly used as other, more traditional therapies. But, as more people start to understand its benefits, that’s changing.

EMDR was originally used to help with feelings of anxiety, especially in those who have been through traumatic experiences. But, with so many other therapies offering help for the same thing, why should you go with EMDR? Are you a good candidate for this type of therapy?

It’s important to keep in mind that different treatment methods work better for some than others. The main goal of any therapeutic treatment is to provide the healing support you need to work through whatever mental health struggles you’re going through.

If you’ve heard about EMDR and you’re curious whether it’s the right option for you, let’s talk a bit more about who might be a good candidate.

What Can EMDR Help With?

Before you decide whether you’re a good candidate for EMDR therapy, it’s important to know the various conditions it’s been known to treat and help with. The most common and obvious is PTSD.

EMDR can make the flashbacks and frightening memories often associated with a traumatic event into experiences within your control. Those thoughts are no longer negative and overwhelming, but something you can turn into a positive thought in order to move on. Because of that effect, EMDR is also incredibly helpful with a variety of conditions, including:

  • Anxiety

  • Grief

  • Phobias

  • Pain disorders

  • Personality disorders

  • Depression

That isn’t an exhaustive list. Any time you’re dealing with negative, overwhelming thoughts that feel like they’re taking everything over, EMDR might be able to help. It’s all about giving those negative thoughts less power, and replacing them with something better by shifting your focus.

Should You Consider EMDR Therapy?

There is no one ideal candidate for EMDR therapy. It can work for both men and women, and helps people in different stages of treatment.

Even if you’re currently going through another type of treatment therapy, like CBT, EMDR can be a great way to supplement what you’re discussing and help you work through things in a different way.

That’s actually one of the biggest initial draws for some people with EMDR—it’s unique. If you’re someone who has trouble opening up in general, you might find traditional talk therapy methods to be difficult. Speaking to someone who is technically a “stranger” can be even more difficult.

Because the focus of EMDR is action, rather than speaking, it’s a wonderful alternative for people who want help but aren’t comfortable talking about their experiences.

Does EMDR Work for Everyone?

In short, yes. There have been multiple studies that show EMDR helps with the effects of different mental health conditions when compared to no treatment.

Another draw that keeps EMDR in the spotlight is how safe and comfortable it is. It’s not uncommon for people, even those in talk therapy, to supplement their treatment with medication. There is nothing wrong with that, and certain prescriptions work very well for some. But, not everyone is comfortable with prescription medications, and many try to avoid them.

EMDR is a great alternative, whether you use it on its own or as a complement to another type of therapy.

The best way to determine if you’re a good candidate for EMDR therapy is to try it for yourself. Feel free to contact me for more information or if you want to set up an appointment.

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