05 February 2023

10 common misconceptions about EMDR

As a psychiatrist, I've seen the power of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy first-hand. It's an incredibly effective treatment for a wide range of mental health conditions, including trauma, anxiety, and depression. But despite its growing popularity, there are still lots of misconceptions floating around about EMDR.


That's why I've decided to dedicate a series of ten blog posts to clearing up these misunderstandings. In each post, I'll dive into one of the most common misconceptions about EMDR and explain why it's simply not true. So whether you've been interested in EMDR long-time or you're just learning about it for the first time, I hope these posts will be informative and helpful.


  1. EMDR is only used for trauma. While EMDR is often used to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), it can also be used to address other mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, and phobias.
  2. EMDR requires reliving traumatic experiences: While EMDR can involve revisiting traumatic memories, the process does not require reliving the experience in a traumatic manner. The focus is on processing the memory to reduce its emotional impact.
  3. EMDR is a form of hypnosis: EMDR is not hypnosis. It is a structured therapy approach that uses bilateral stimulation, such as eye movements, tapping, or tones, to help the brain process traumatic memories.
  4. EMDR is not supported by research: There is a significant amount of research that supports the efficacy of EMDR in the treatment of PTSD and other mental health issues.
  5. EMDR only works for certain types of trauma: EMDR can be effective for a wide range of traumatic experiences, including physical and sexual abuse, car accidents, natural disasters, and combat.
  6. EMDR is only for individuals with severe trauma: EMDR can be used for individuals with mild to severe traumatic experiences. It is also effective for individuals who have experienced multiple traumas.
  7. EMDR requires full disclosure of trauma: EMDR can be adapted to the individual's comfort level and does not require full disclosure of the trauma.
  8. EMDR is a quick fix: While EMDR can lead to significant improvement in a short amount of time, the number of sessions required varies from person to person and depends on the nature and severity of the trauma.
  9. EMDR is only used in individual therapy: EMDR can be used in both individual and group therapy.
  10. EMDR is a new and untested therapy: EMDR was developed in the late 1980s and has been extensively researched and validated as an effective treatment for PTSD and other mental health issues.


Well, that's a wrap on our series of misconceptions about EMDR!


I hope that these posts have given you a clearer understanding of what this treatment is, how it works, and why it's so effective.


If you have any further questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please don't hesitate to reach out to me.


I'm here to help, and I'm always happy to chat about the many benefits of EMDR therapy.


Take care, and I hope to hear from you soon!


Michiel Bosman MD

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