EMDR Therapy: The Pros and Cons

Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is a technique used by some psychotherapists to treat their patients’ symptoms of psychological distress.

EMDR is a treatment for mental health disorders caused by recollections of traumatic events in the patient’s past. Although it has gained popularity as a treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder, it is also being used to treat other disorders.


EMDR therapy can be used to treat a lot of mental problems, including post-traumatic stress disorder, acute stress disorder, and other mental health symptoms. There are several benefits associated with EMDR treatment, and we have listed some of them below:

1. Separate reactions from your stressors

Addiction to a substance may develop into a pattern of coping with chronic stress, just like any other habit. Therefore, a person may turn to substance abuse or alcohol use as a method of coping when they are made aware of memories from their past.

Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy assist addicts in distinguishing between causes and effects. They learn how to process the feelings that are associated with a problem rather than merely responding to it.

2. Admit to your pain and allow for real recovery to begin

On other occasions, a person will try to forget or ignore recollections of traumatic memories or a painful experience that played a role in the development of their addiction. They won’t be able to get over this prior trauma and start healing unless they confront it and deal with it. Therefore, this EMDR therapy, approved by the World Health Organization, helps treat this trauma.

3. Attempt to Imitate Sleeping Patterns to Promote Healing

Individuals’ bodies are hard at work repairing and maintaining themselves while they sleep. All of the “heavy lifting” of bodily care, such as bruise healing and broken bone repair, occurs while people are sleeping.

As a result, it stands to reason that imitating that sleeping pattern could be beneficial in the process of mental healing. EMDR is based on a novel recreation of the REM sleep cycle that teaches the mind how to repair itself while also putting the body into a deep state of relaxation.

4. Assist with a Wide Variety of ailments

EMDR treatment is effective in treating trauma and a broad variety of symptoms, most of which are experienced by people who are fighting addiction. These symptoms include anxiety, phobias, panic attacks, relationship problems, poor self-esteem, excessive worrying, sleeplessness, and rage difficulties.

5. Offer Fast Relief

The EMDR treatment is not only efficient but also quite effective. People who are dealing with addiction may recover in as little as one session. There may be a brief period of emotional distress, but such emotions will pass quickly. Feeling as if one has made progress when overcoming an addiction is encouraging for everyone who is going through the process. As a result, they gain the courage and determination to continue fighting.

6. No Negative Side Effects

Many individuals are concerned about the potential negative outcomes of any therapy for drug or alcohol dependency. EMDR therapy has not been demonstrated to have any harmful side effects, despite the numerous studies that have been done on this method of treatment. The number of people utilizing EMDR is at an all-time high, and both those receiving treatment and the therapists who provide it believe there are no negative side effects.

Cons of EMDR Therapy

The Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) treatment has numerous advantages, but it also has significant disadvantages in comparison to other types of therapy.

1. Effective for illnesses that are directly tied to traumatic events

EMDR is not likely to be helpful if you have a mental health issue that was caused by a physical impact on your brain, such as an accident, a genetic disorder, or other physical consequence. The reasoning behind why it is effective is still in dispute. The EMDR treatment was discovered by chance. Even though there is proof that it is effective, specialists still lack a complete explanation of why it works.

2. It’s a new way of treating psychological and physical symptoms

In contrast to other types of treatment, desensitization and reprocessing of eye movements (EMDR) didn’t come into existence until 1989. Before doctors can determine whether or not EMDR is a long-term cure or whether or not individuals require more treatment years or decades later, more study has to be done.

Side effects of EMDR Therapy

In most cases, a typical EMDR therapy session is regarded as a risk-free therapeutic option by medical professionals. In general, it leads to a lower risk of unpleasant effects compared to pharmaceutical treatments for depression and trauma symptoms. Additionally, EMDR may continue to be helpful even after therapy has been completed, therefore, an EMDR therapist may ask you to continue with the therapy. Even yet, EMDR and other types of treatment may also result in some undesirable side effects, including the following:

  • A rise in memories that are upsetting to them
  • Lightheadedness or increased emotional intensity during sessions
  • Vivid dreams
  • Re-awakening of previously buried unpleasant memories

The average course of therapy will result in the disappearance of these symptoms. Individuals need to keep their therapists updated on their activities in between sessions so that the therapist may work with them on new memories and symptoms during subsequent sessions.

People Also Ask

Who needs to have EMDR therapy?

People suffering from a broad variety of mental health disorders may find relief with EMDR therapy. This therapy is helpful for individuals of all ages, including adolescents and teens of all ages. Certain medical professionals focus specifically on EMDR for children.

What is the purpose of using this treatment?

The EMDR treatment does not require the patient to discuss the traumatic event in great detail. Instead, EMDR focuses on altering the feelings, thoughts, and behaviors that are the direct outcome of a traumatic event.

This makes it possible for your brain to continue its normal process of repair.  Bilateral stimulation is also an essential part of the Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) treatment process.

Final thoughts

We all deserve the chance to be healed. If you’ve been dealing with some past traumatic memories, there are several ways you could free yourself, and EMDR therapy is one of them.

Intensive Therapy Retreat is located in Montreal, Quebec. Get in touch with us today to find out more about EMDR therapy. Our team of experts is always ready to help; just make the first step to freedom by reaching out to us today.