If you’re considering EMDR therapy, you may be wondering what to expect during your first session. Here’s a brief overview of what you can expect during an initial EMDR therapy session.

What Is an EMDR Therapy

EMDR therapy is a type of psychotherapy that is used to treat a variety of mental health conditions. It is a relatively new therapy, and its exact mechanisms are not fully understood. However, it is thought to work by helping people process and understand their memories and by providing a safe and supportive environment in which to do so.

This psychotherapy is usually conducted over a number of sessions, during which the therapist will help the client identify and work through a specific memory or event. The therapist will also provide guidance and support during the session and will help the client to understand and process their emotions.

Who Needs an EMDR Therapy

EMDR therapy is a type of therapy that can be used to help people who have experienced trauma. It is a form of therapy that is based on the principle of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR). This type of therapy can be used to help people who have experienced a wide range of traumas, including:

  • Sexual abuse
  • Physical abuse
  • Emotional abuse
  • Witnessing a traumatic event
  • Natural disasters
  • Combat

EMDR therapy effectively treats various mental health conditions, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depression. It is also sometimes used to help people struggling to cope with a challenging life event, such as bereavement. This can help to reduce the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), such as:

  • Flashbacks
  • Nightmares
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Anger
  • Guilt
  • Shame

How Do You Prepare before Your First EMDR Therapy Session

Before your first EMDR therapy session, it is important to do some self-care. This means getting enough rest, eating a balanced diet, and drinking plenty of water. You should also avoid using drugs or alcohol, as they can interfere with the therapy.

It is also important to be honest with your therapist about your history and any trauma you have experienced. This will help them tailor the therapy to your needs. Finally, be prepared to talk about your goals for therapy and what you hope to achieve.

What Happens during Your First EMDR Therapy Session

If you’re considering EMDR therapy for the first time, you might wonder what to expect from your first session. Here’s a brief overview of what you can expect to happen during your first EMDR therapy session.

During the first session, your therapist will ask you about your current situation and your goals for therapy. You’ll also discuss your current symptoms, the history of the trauma, and any other mental health issues you may have. This information will help your therapist determine whether EMDR is right for you.

Next, your therapist will explain the basic principles of EMDR and how it can help you heal from your past trauma. You’ll also learn some basic relaxation techniques that you can use during the EMDR process.

Once you’ve decided to proceed with EMDR, your therapist will help you identify a specific traumatic memory to target during your first session. You’ll then work through the eight phases of EMDR, which include eye movements or other forms of bilateral stimulation. These exercises help release the negative emotions and memories stored in your brain.

Finally, you and your therapist will discuss your experience during the session and develop a plan for future sessions. EMDR therapy typically requires a series of sessions to be effective. However, you may start to see some benefits after just one session.


If you have experienced trauma, EMDR therapy can be an effective treatment option. While EMDR can be a bit of a process, it can be very helpful for those struggling with mental health issues. If you are interested in EMDR therapy, you should speak to a therapist who is trained in this type of therapy. They can help you navigate your trauma history and current symptoms, as well as set up a treatment plan.

Sarah J. Person, LCSW-R, is the best psychotherapist in Long Island, NY, that can help you with your anxiety, depression, or any other mental health issue you may be struggling with. She offers a safe and supportive environment where you can explore your thoughts and feelings and work towards making positive changes in your life. Let Sarah help you on your journey to wellness. Schedule an appointment today!