EMDR – Calgary

What is EMDR?

EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. It was developed by Dr. Francine Shapiro in the 1980s. It is a highly researched form of therapy that shows very good results, usually in a relatively short period of time. There are over 200,000 EMDR therapists in the world today.

What types of concerns can EMDR treat?

Research has found that EMDR can be used for practically any type of issue, ranging from mood concerns, PTSD, addictions, stress, trauma, behavioural problems, cognitive problems, really the list is endless.


free telephone consultation
Dr. Susan MacDonald Ph.D., Registered Psychologist
EMDR – Calgary – Counselling Psychologist
430 15 Street NW Calgary
403-295-8355

Psychologist Calgary - Psychology Today


How does EMDR work?

 What happens when we experience stressful or traumatic events in our lives, these memories end up being stored in the right posterior area of our brains. EMDR moves these memories from this area of our brain to the left anterior area of the brain. This region of the brain is a much calmer place for these memories to be stored. EMDR does not erase these memories, the treatment simply decreases the emotional intensity related to these memories.

What are the stages of EMDR treatment?

First there is an explanation of what EMDR is all about, and answering any questions you may have. Then there is a bit of preparation, followed by an assessment stage. Once these are complete, we move on to the desensitization stage, and finally to the reprocessing phase. Sometimes treatment moves quickly, other times it might be a bit slower, there is no right or wrong. And remember you are in complete control of your healing.

Is EMDR like REM sleep? 

In a way yes, EMDR is similar to the eye movements we experience when in REM or Rapid Eye Movement sleep. When we go into REM sleep our eyes typically move from side to side. Why? Because this is the stage of sleep where we are cleaning up or tidying up the events of the day. EMDR is rather similar, that we do eye movements that also help to clean up or tidy up memories.

Is EMDR long lasting?

Yes, it has long lasting effects. Typically when the emotional intensity that was tied to stressful or traumatic events are diminished, the positive impact of the treatment remains for the long term.

How old do you have to be to have EMDR treatment?

Really, anyone of any age is a candidate for EMDR. The youngest person I have heard of having EMDR treatment was 3 years old when she had EMDR.

What do people typically experience with EMDR treatment?

Many people report feeling a sense of calm, a release of negative emotions, and a feeling of peace. Sometimes people say they feel a bit tired at the end of an EMDR session, though in a good way. Most people are surprised at how quickly EMDR works, and how it easily cleans up memories that have been problematic for a very long time.


free telephone consultation
Dr. Susan MacDonald Ph.D., Registered Psychologist
EMDR – Calgary – Counselling Psychologist
430 15 Street NW Calgary
403-295-8355

Psychologist Calgary - Psychology Today