EMDR Therapy Treatment Center Scottsdale, AZ

Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is an effective psychotherapy option that treats several mental health conditions, including anxiety, PTSD, and panic disorders.

Healing Foundations Center is an EMDR Therapy treatment center in Scottsdale, AZ that provides EMDR using standardized protocols and integrated approaches.

According to the EMDR Research Foundation, EMDR has been clinically validated by more than 30 randomized, controlled studies.[1]

What is EMDR?

EMDR is a type of therapy that focuses on reconnecting the person to their emotions, thoughts, images, and sensations associated with trauma in a safe and neutral environment. The approach relies on the idea that symptoms occur when the brain’s natural ability to heal is disrupted or overwhelmed by a traumatic event. Providing stimulation in a safe environment allows the person to experience the trauma again with new context, allowing the brain to heal properly.

Through this process, individuals can reprocess traumatic information and stimuli while being aware of safety. The process can be repeated until it’s no longer psychologically damaging, negative, or distressing.

EMDR has a structured eight-phase process:[2]

Phase 1: History

Phase 2: Preparation

Phase 3: Assessment of the target memory

Phases 4-7: Processing the memory to adaptive resolution

Phase 8: Evaluation of treatment results

The processing of a specific memory may take one to three sessions. Though the person is exposed to a traumatic memory using this method, it doesn’t involve extended exposure to a painful memory, vivid descriptions of the event, or challenging dysfunctional beliefs like other therapies.

Healing Foundations EMDR Therapy Treatment Center in Scottsdale, AZ

Phases of EMDR

History and Treatment Planning

The first phase of EMDR is a complete history and assessment with the therapist and patient to identify the targets for treatment. This may include past traumatic memories or current triggers.


The therapist explains the treatment and demonstrates the procedures to the patient.

Healing Foundations EMDR Treatment Center in Scottsdale, AZ


The assessment phase focuses on the memory that’s included in the session. The memory may be identified by the image, cognition, affect, and body sensation it evokes.

EMDR sessions evaluate this using two metrics:

  • Subjective Units of Disturbance
  • Validity of Cognition

Both metrics are used as a baseline and to test the progress during the treatment as part of the standardized procedure.


The patient focuses on the target memory during the desensitization phase while engaging in back-and-forth eye movements. Then, the patient shares the emotions or thoughts they experienced during this, which the therapist records. The process may be repeated until the patient no longer experiences distress at the memory.


During the installation phase, the individual strengthens the positive thoughts that are now associated with the memory rather than the previous negative thoughts.

Body Scan

The body scan phase shows the patient their physical response to the memory and the positive cognition. If the patient reports any negative thoughts or emotions, more eye movement sessions are used to process it.


Closure is the final phase of the session. If the memory wasn’t processed fully, closure is a time to apply techniques to ensure safety until the next session.


The next session begins with the re-evaluation phase, which evaluates the patient’s current psychological state, any memories that may have emerged, and whether positive effects are maintained. Depending on the results, the therapist and patient work to identify the goals for the next session.

Healing Foundations EMDR Therapy in Scottsdale, AZ

Healing Foundations EMDR Therapy Treatment Center Scottsdale, Arizona

Who Benefits from EMDR?

EMDR is an accepted therapy by the American Psychiatric Association and the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies.[2] Other organizations have endorsed EMDR, including the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, the United Kingdom Department of Health, and the Israeli National Council for Mental Health.

Over the past 30 years, numerous studies have documented the effectiveness of EMDR for treating trauma related to rape and sexual abuse, combat exposure, childhood abuse, severe accidents, and general anxiety and depression symptoms.

EMDR can be used to treat:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Panic attacks
  • Eating disorders
  • Psychosis
  • Bipolar disorder

Risks of EMDR

EMDR is a therapeutic technique that comes with few, if any, risks and side effects. Some of the side effects may include:

  • Vivid, realistic dreams
  • Heightened emotions and physical sensitivity
  • Lightheadedness

EMDR may take a few sessions to work. Patients may experience dramatic improvement after the first session, or they may deal with some emotional distress and discomfort during the process. Despite this, EMDR may be less overwhelming than some other types of therapy because it doesn’t use long, detailed descriptions of the trauma.

Though generally safe, it’s essential to get EMDR therapy at an EMDR therapy treatment center that uses licensed professionals experienced with this type of therapy. An experienced mental health professional can provide tools to cope with the process, such as relaxation and mindfulness techniques to manage unpleasant emotions.

EMDR Therapy at Healing Foundations Center

EMDR is an integrative approach to therapy that can be effective for many mental health conditions. If you’re considering EMDR therapy, it’s essential to choose a qualified, experienced EMDR therapy treatment center, such as Healing Foundations Center. Contact us to learn more about our EMDR therapy in Scottsdale, AZ.

Healing Foundations EMDR Therapy in Scottsdale, Arizona


[1] https://emdrfoundation.org/emdr-info/

[2] https://www.apa.org/ptsd-guideline/treatments/eye-movement-reprocessing

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