EMDR Therapy: What to Expect
Format of Therapy
We at the EMDR and Counseling Center want to get you better as quickly as possible while also making sure that you are safe when working through difficult experiences and emotions. Here is what you can expect from your sessions.
First session: The first sessions 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 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.
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 the 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 through trauma or self esteem issues in under an hour while others take around 6 sessions or more. Most clients average between 10-20 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 in their symptoms after the first session or two of EMDR but improve after that. Come into therapy with moderated expectations for the first couple 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 $150 a session. We accept Medicaid, Select Health, and Cigna insurance.