EMDR Therapy for Anxiety, Trauma, Meridian, ID

When many people think of psychotherapy, they have a stereotypical image of lying down on a couch and exploring their past while a mental health therapist takes notes sitting stiffly in an office chair nearby. And there are many practitioners who offer this therapy to varying degrees of success.

What many people don't realize is that psychotherapy can take several forms and they can often be mixed-and-matched with the same patient to create a combination that is uniquely successful for that patient.

Meridian Counseling is the latter type of practice, and one of the types of therapy our licensed professional counselors might employ is a form of structured therapy called EMDR therapy, or eye movement desensitization and reprocessing. That's a very complicated name for a relatively simple–and quite effective–therapy. EMDR is used to process everything from anxiety, trauma, depression, anger management, addiction, eating disorders, and more.

Our Therapists That Offer EMDR Therapy


What is EMDR Therapy? How Does EMDR Work?

What is EMDR Therapy? How Does EMDR Work? 
While EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) therapy can sound intimidating, the process is generally quite simple and soothing. Let's lay it out step-by-step:

  • Discussion. Before you even begin the more formal steps of EMDR, you and your therapist will discuss why this therapy might be warranted in the first place. Your individual counselor will chat with you about what brought you to therapy, take a brief mental health history, and discuss what mental health issues need to be addressed.
  • Preparation. Your clinical counselor isn't going to do anything without discussing it with you first. They'll make sure you understand what EMDR is, step-by-step, and give you a chance to decide whether you're interested in moving forward.
  • Eye Movement. Using a tool like a metronome or a series of small, moving lights, your EMDR practitioner will encourage you to talk about a distressing event or emotion while you move your eyes to follow the metronome or lights. This is a simple movement, but it helps you stay grounded in the moment instead of becoming overtaken by the distressing thoughts.
  • Desensitization. While continuing to practice the eye movements, you and your counselor will continue to focus on the event or distressing thought, piece by piece, until your reaction to it is more controlled and less upsetting.
  • Reprocessing. Once you're no longer feeling threatened by your previous thoughts and traumatic memories, you and your therapist can discuss replacement thoughts regarding those events.

By the end of this process, the ideal result is that you can still remember and identify the negative emotion or memory that you were processing, but you can do it without the panic, stress, or anxiety that you once did. You may even be able to understand helpful lessons that come from reprocessing those emotions in a safe and consistent way. EMDR is intended to remove the fight-or-flight response our body generates toward objects or events that cannot hurt us.
EMDR is just one of many therapeutic approaches we offer at Meridian Counseling. If you're interested in some of our other therapeutic specialties and techniques, see our Counseling Services page. You can also see our FAQs for more information about our therapy practice as a whole.


If you're ready to start an intake assessment or make an appointment, call (208) 803-5339 or contact us today. We look forward to meeting you and helping you build the life you want to live.
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