Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

EMDR is a form of psychotherapy developed in 1987 by Dr. Francine Shapiro. One day, when she was walking through the woods, she noticed that as her eyes darted from side to side, her own negative emotions subsided. Later, she found the same positive effect in her clients.

She began using the process on veterans who were suffering from post-traumatic stress and found that the treatment worked extremely well in relieving trauma.

Millions of people worldwide have been treated successfully over the past 25 years.[1]

You may benefit from EMDR Therapy if you:

  • Have experienced or witnessed violence (e.g. sexual assault, molestation, physical assault).
  • Have experienced or witnessed disasters (tornados, floods, fire, etc.).
  • Were a victim of a vehicle collision.
  • Were a victim of a workplace accident.
  • Have experienced loss (through divorce, death, being fired, etc.).
  • Are a first responders who is bombarded by traumatic memories.
  • Suffer from phobias (fear of flying, fear of spiders, etc.)
  • Have experienced a life threatening event or illness.


With the therapist’s help, you revisit a traumatic moment or incident and the feelings and beliefs you experience about the incident.

The therapist moves their hand back and forth in a windshield wiper motion, as you watch the therapist’s finger (like watching ping pong) while recalling the event. Through your eye movements, the painful incident and feelings may be replaced with calmness, feelings of peacefulness and empowerment.

It works quickly and may significantly lessen many symptoms including:

  • Depression
  • Fear, panic, or anxiety
  • Recurring thoughts of the traumatic incident/s.
  • Uncontrolled or chronic anger
  • Self-esteem problems
  • Test or performance anxiety
  • Relationship problems
  • Self-medication (alcohol, drug, substance use)


Insight has several therapists with EMDR training and experience who are able to assist you with this form of treatment.

[1] Taken from EMDR.com