I've Been to Therapy Before, Why is EMDR Therapy Different?


EMDR Therapy is a comprehensive and efficient form of psychotherapy. EMDR therapy is different from traditional talk-therapy in many ways, most importantly in that the results achieved from EMDR therapy tend to happen more quickly than with traditional talk therapy. EMDR therapy can be thought of as healing in fast-forward; where some forms of therapy can take years to achieve a healed state, clients often experience a lot of growth here at Coherence Associates, Inc. in a few months. It is important to note that EMDR therapy is an 8-phase process, which like talk-therapy, begins with a history taking and resource building process. During this time your EMDR therapist will provide you with a variety of tools and strategies to use for coping, and together you will build a foundation of trust, which is integral to the healing process.


With EMDR therapy, you may share your story if you would like, but it is possible to reap the benefits of EMDR therapy while choosing to not verbally convey the details. This is a major difference, and a contributing factor to why some people choose EMDR therapy over traditional talk-therapy approaches. Another major difference can be found in the lasting resolution of old responses. Many trauma survivors find that they are hesitant to attend therapy because they “don’t want to relive” the trauma over and over again by talking about it. Once the process is complete, EMDR therapy allows for the individual to recall stressful or upsetting information without feeling like it is happening again. A nice analogy for this is to think of the process as turning the volume and intensity down on the memory; you can look at the details, recall the incident, or experience a former trigger at a comfortable distance and “volume” that is within your control.


 If you’re thinking, “There’s no way a few months of therapy could resolve all of the trauma I have experienced in my life,” rest assured you are not alone in your skepticism. The fantastic thing about EMDR therapy is that it works from the theory that information your nervous system perceives as similar will group together, meaning that often in treating one “target,” multiple “targets” get treated in the process. This is a major contributing factor to the brevity of EMDR treatment when compared to other forms of psychotherapy.


If you have questions, or are ready to get started, give us a call at 760-942-8663. If we cannot help you for any reason, we will do our best to help you find somebody who is the right fit for your needs.


Happy Healing!


Reannon Kerwood, MA, IMF 73596

Clinical Intern

Coherence Associates, Inc.


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