Format of Therapy
We at the EMDR and Counseling Center want to get you better as quickly as possible while ensuring you are safe when working through difficult experiences and emotions. Here is what you can expect from your sessions.
First session: The initial session will be primarily to identify your goals for therapy and how we can help you achieve them. It will also go over EMDR and what to expect in the session more in-depth and answer any questions you have about it. If there is time, we will go over some techniques to deal with difficult emotions, as EMDR can draw out extremely powerful emotional responses, and we want to be sure that you can handle them in a healthy way both in and out of session.
Second session: If we didn't have time to go over how to deal with strong, negative emotions in a healthy and adaptive way, then that will be the primary focus of this session. If it was covered in the first session, or once it's covered in this session, we will jump straight into EMDR.
Subsequent sessions: Sessions will primarily focus on doing EMDR, although there may be interruptions for other things as needed such as processing difficult emotions or teaching important therapeutic skills. For example, if a client is having immediate difficulty with anger, therapy may briefly change focus to techniques for dealing with anger in a healthy way.
Completion of therapy: Therapy will be complete once you have worked through any distressing or traumatic memory, traumatic event, negative thinking patterns, beliefs, or feelings, or any other issue that has a disproportionate reaction to a situation resulting in heightened emotions that can be resolved with EMDR. You should experience long-term relief from your symptoms and feel happy in your daily life before the completion of therapy and your individual healing journey.
Timeline for Therapy
The timeline for therapy can vary depending on the individual. Most clients are able to work through one or more treatment goals simultaneously in about three to six sessions. People who have experienced a lot of trauma generally take slightly longer than average. EMDR does also tend to be slowest with the first targeted issue, with subsequent issues having the potential to be quicker. EMDR is different for everyone, and I've seen clients fully process trauma or self-esteem issues in under an hour, while others take around 6 sessions or more. Most clients average between 10-20 therapy sessions to complete therapy, no matter how many issues they initially wanted to work on.
Something else to keep in mind is that things may get worse before they get better. It is uncommon, but not rare, for clients to temporarily worsen their symptoms after the first session or two of EMDR but improve after that. Come into therapy with moderate expectations for the first couple of sessions because dropping out of therapy due to temporarily worsened symptoms is detrimental to mental health.
Therapy is an investment in yourself and, unfortunately, is not cheap. The advantage of doing EMDR instead of other therapy techniques is that you cut down on your overall cost with speed and efficacy. EMDR works quickly and eliminates your negative emotional response entirely, rather than traditional methods of therapy which teach you techniques to manage your negative emotional responses.
Additionally, our goal at the EMDR and Counseling Center is to teach you how to do EMDR on yourself so that you leave with an invaluable skillset and feel confident in your ability to work through any future issues that arise on your own. Therapy is currently $100-$150 a session depending on the therapist. We accept Select Health and Select Health Medicaid.
How to Prepare for EMDR Therapy
At the EMDR and Counseling Center, we understand you may have many questions when preparing for EMDR therapy. We are here to help you make an informed decision about this type of therapy.
EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a type of therapy that uses eye movements and other bilateral stimulations like sounds or tapping to help people process traumatic memories, reduce distress and improve functioning.
Before starting your course of EMDR treatment, you can do a few things to get the most out of your sessions: