What Is Eye Movement Desensitization And Reprocessing (EMDR)?

What Is Eye Movement Desensitization And Reprocessing (EMDR)?

Last week, we discussed what trauma is: our minds’ response to processing a disturbing event that happened to us. I want to discuss how anyone who suffered the effects of trauma can find meaningful healing. For some, the term “self-care” has become a reason for overindulgence. Sure, luxury bath bombs and an extra slice of Oreo cheesecake have their place. But before it was tied to superficial habits, self-care was linked to mental health!


What Is Eye Movement Desensitization And Reprocessing (EMDR)?

EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. It’s a type of therapy that is very effective for all kinds of trauma and abuse. It’s also very helpful for other life challenges such as grief and loss, addiction and low-self esteem. At Guided Wellness Counseling in St. George, Utah we’ve used EMDR to help clients with depression, anxiety, birth trauma, betrayal trauma and so much more.

EMDR provides a process that pays close attention to your thoughts, feelings and body. This is important because we heal differently in these three areas. For example, someone who experienced a car accident might know in their head that they are a good driver and it’s not their fault. But they might also still experience nightmares about the crash, fear about driving again or extreme feelings of defensiveness about their or others driving. It’s like their head and heart are not on the same page.

Another common example is the experience of those who return from the military. They might know in their head that they are home now and are supposed to be able to relax and be grateful that their service has ended. But there are other parts of them that feel afraid in crowds, sensitive to loud sounds like fireworks, reactive and moody around their loved ones… and so much more. The gift of EMDR is that it helps to connect our thoughts, feelings and body sensations.

How Is EMDR Therapy Different?

In some ways, EMDR is just like talk therapy. With Guided Wellness Counseling you’ll start with a free 15 minute phone consultation to see if counseling is right for you. Take a moment to book your free 15-minute consultation now! Our practice manager will pair you with the best therapist to meet your needs and answer all of your questions.

After that you will:
● Attend your first counseling session to talk about your needs
● Identify what you most want to address in your sessions
● Explore events that may have caused you pain, anxiety or depression
● Build coping skills to manage stress between sessions so you can continue healing

What Can I Expect In My First Appointment?

What makes EMDR therapy unique is that it uses eye movements in a back-and-forth motion in addition to simply talking with your therapist. Sometimes other methods are used instead of eye movements. For example, tapping on your knees left-and-right or listening to tones through headphones in your left ear then right ear.

Why Does EMDR Work?

These bilateral (back and forth) movements soothe your nervous system while you and your therapist are working through the pain in your life. Our clients report that the movements help them “connect the dots” as they work through confusing experiences or questions such as “why did this happen to me?”


These movements also help to take the sting out of the past. We call this desensitization. The movements also support you in learning from the past so you can move forward in your life. This is called reprocessing.

If you’d like you to hear reviews from real EMDR clients and learn more about how EMDR works then check out this video! There are so many things the staff at Guided Wellness Counseling in St. George UT love about EMDR, from how it’s helped to heal emotional trauma, betrayal trauma, anxiety and more. It can be highly effective for a range of issues.

Meet The Therapists At Guided Wellness


Are You Ready To Begin EMDR Therapy in St. George?
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After your free 15-minute phone consultation you’ll be ready to attend your first therapy appointment. Take a deep breath. You and your therapist will talk about and feel out what works best for you. If the two of you determine that you feel stuck or caught-up in the past, EMDR might be a good fit for you. If you know in your head that you “should” be over something by now… but you’re not… EMDR can help you bridge the gap between what you know and how you feel. Counseling can help and the therapists at Guided Wellness are ready to go with you on this journey.

If you’re in need of emergency mental care, please visit SAMHA’s national helpline here.


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Guided Wellness Counseling

Healing Depression, Anxiety, and Trauma in St. George and all of Southern Utah.

EMDR Therapy and EMDR Consultation Services.

720 South River Road Suite E 103, St. George, UT 84790