Dr. Johan Cloete
Psychology & Neurofeedback Practitioner

Contact Me:

073 458 4079 (Bookings)

078 308 3070 (Whatsapp)

EMDR is different from talk therapy. It requires less talking, for one. It usually takes less time to take effect than talk therapy, yet it’s still considered very effective – especially for people dealing with trauma. EMDR practitioners describe the process in eight simple phases.

1. Planning. In the first phase, the therapist will talk to you about why you’re here and how you can make sure EMDR helps you. He will ensure you are comfortable with him, how you will move forward, and what will be included in the treatment plan.

2. Preparation. In the next step, the therapist will explain what will happen during the sessions so they know what to expect. Because there will be times during the therapy that you will become more stressed, he will also teach you some coping mechanisms, such as breathing techniques, or he’ll guide you into creating a safe space you retreat to when it all becomes too much. If you have any questions or concerns, the therapist will answer them.

3. Assessment. EMDR aims to help you overcome memories you feel you might still be reliving so you can move past them. During this step, the therapist will work with you to identify those memories and the negative emotions and beliefs accompanying them. You will also choose a pivotal memory to work on.

4. Desensitization. Once you’ve identified a key memory, the therapist will ask you to think about the chosen memory while they start working on the desensitization process. Essentially, you will be asked to look from right to left while you think about that memory. Some counselors use sound; others use touch to help facilitate eye movement from left to right. Together, you’ll figure out the method that works best for you. This left-right stimulation (called bilateral stimulation) is the core process behind EMDR.

5. Installation: Once the distress associated with the critical memory has diminished, you’ll be asked to do something else. Instead of focusing on negative feelings or beliefs about yourself due to your experience, you’ll be asked to focus on a positive belief: something you want to believe about yourself. Using bilateral stimulation, the therapist will then help you process that positive belief.

6. Body Scan. In this phase, you’ll be asked to scan your body while thinking of your crucial memory and notice any distress you may still feel. If there’s any left, you will be asked to repeat phase four until that distress is gone or severely diminished.

7. Closure. At the end of the session, the therapist will guide you back to a calmer state. The goal is to help you feel more settled so you don’t leave the session feeling terrible.

8. Reevaluation. At the beginning of the following session, the therapist will discuss the critical memory and how much distress it brings you now. After that, we will be able to decide on how to continue helping you.