A client’s personal account of their experience with EMDR: “EMDR is a paradox. The mind tells you to be scared because it is still in protection mode, so to face the trauma seems like it would kill you to relive it when in fact the trauma itself is already killing you. The only true way to know what life should have been if the trauma never happened is to do the work (EMDR) and get the results to find one’s self and true happiness.” – JS

Description of EMDR therapyhttps://emdria.site-ym.com/?120
To Lose Control (Video depicting EMDR): https://vimeo.com/63334346
How EMDR workshttps://youtu.be/hKrfH43srg8gs

When a disturbing event happens, it is possible that the memory may get stored in the brain improperly resulting in feeling like the event is either going to happen again or re-occurring at this exact moment. If another event occurs that is triggering or similar, the brain is reminded of the initial event causing the brain to react as it did initially.  

Through the use of EMDR, the memory is stored a in more functional part of the brain that recognizes the event as occurring in the past. As pictured, a real physical change happens as a result of EMDR.  After a memory is processed, it no longer elicits distressing feelings and thoughts. The memory is able to be recalled without distress, and the person is able to live in the present without the past interfering.


  1. Overgeneralizing – You see a constant, negative pattern based on one event. “I messed up on the job interview; I’ll never get a job.”
  2. Blaming/Denying – You blame others for your problems or mistakes OR you blame yourself when it wasn’t entirely your fault. “I drink because of my ex-husband.”
  3. Shoulds – You have a rigid code of conduct dictating how you and others should behave. You criticize yourself harshly when you fail to follow these rules. “I never should have dated him.”
  4. All or nothing thinking – You see things as absolutes, no grey areas. “I’m always late.”
  5. Negativity bias – You notice all of the negatives, but fail to notice the positives. “Everything in my life sucks. I’m out of work. My car payment’s late. My pants are too tight. My cat peed on the carpet.”
  6. Catastrophizing – You expect the worst. “I was late on the rent. I’m going to be evicted.”
  7. Labeling – You label yourself negatively. “I made a mistake therefore I’m a failure.”
  8. Magical thinking – You think everything will be better when ____ (you’re thinner, smarter, richer, get a new job, etc). “I’ll meet a new guy as soon as I lose 20 lbs.”
  9. Over-personalizing – You make things personal, when they aren’t. You believe other people’s opinions are facts. You think what other people do/say is in reaction to you. “My wife complains about the high car payment. I take this as a criticism that I paid too much.”
  10. Mind reading – You make assumptions about what others are thinking. “I didn’t get the job because I’m too old.”
  11. Double standard – You hold yourself to a higher standard than everyone else. “I’m happy when my boyfriend gets a B, but I expect myself to get straight A’s.”
  12. Fallacy of fairness – You think things should work out according to what you think is fair. “If my boss valued me, he’d give me a raise.”
  13. Emotional reasoning – You think your feelings are reality. “I feel guilty for saying “no”, so I must have been wrong to set that boundary.”