What is EMDR?

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing

Pictured above: Women in Bangladesh receiving the EMDR-IGTP in 2019.

About EMDR

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is an integrative psychotherapy approach that has been extensively researched and proven effective for the treatment of trauma. EMDR therapy is a set of standardized protocols that incorporates elements from many different treatment approaches. To learn more, visit

EMDR therapy has been declared an effective form of trauma treatment by a wide range of organizations. In the United States, these include the American Psychiatric Association, the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs and the World Health Organization.

If you are an EMDR therapist seeking EMDRIA Certification, click here to sign up for EMDR Group Consultation with Kelly Smyth-Dent, LCSW (or email her at to schedule Individual Consultation). You can also sign up for Individual Consultation with Elizabeth Legg, PhD by emailing her directly at

"Many times [our] problems are unprocessed memories from the past that are poisoning the present. That’s where EMDR therapy can help. While EMDR cannot remove a problem caused by genetics or organic injury, the research indicates that even in these cases negative life experiences can exacerbate problems. When a person is held back from doing things he or she would like to do by feelings of insecurity, anxiety, fear, or unremitting sadness, or is pushed into doing things that are not useful — such as overreacting to people or situations — the reason can generally be found in the memory networks."

Advantages of the Group Protocol
  • Group treatment can be used in non-private settings such as under a mango tree, in shelters, open-air clinic, and so forth

  • Clients in the group do not have to verbalize information about the trauma

  • Therapy can be done on subsequent days and there is no need for homework between sessions 

  • Protocol is easily taught to both new and experienced EMDR practitioners

  • Equally effective cross-culturally

  • People are treated more quickly, involving larger segments of the affected community

  • When single clinicians are able to be assisted by paraprofessionals, teachers, or family members, it allows for a wider application of this protocol in societies with few mental health professionals