How long does EMDR take?
The short answer is: it depends.
The long answer is: At least one or more sessions are needed for me to understand the nature of your problem and to decide whether EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing) is an appropriate treatment for you. If we both agree that EMDR will be used to address your issue, I will explain to you all of the steps involved in EMDR and what you can expect in the process. I'll give you a chance to ask any questions you might have about the method before we begin.
Sometimes the memory you want to focus on may feel a little scary because you don't know what to expect doing EMDR for the first time and you don't know what focusing on this memory might bring up for you. If that is the case, we can start with a "smaller" and less distressing memory so you can "try out" EMDR and see how you react.
A typical EMDR therapy session can be done in a session as short as 60 minutes or as long as 3 hours. We would determine the session length in advance. The type of problem you are addressing, your current life circumstances, and the amount of previous trauma and negative life events you have experienced will all influence how many treatment sessions are necessary. Single-event traumas, such as an auto accident, can usually be processed in as little as 1-2 EMDR sessions.
However, if you have experienced a variety of smaller traumas throughout your life (loss early in childhood through death or divorce, distant or preoccupied parents, an unhealthy romantic relationship, bullying by peers, verbal abuse from teachers, parents, or siblings, witnessing or experiencing domestic violence, an unpredictable home life while growing up, being in a toxic friendship,or events that contributed to low self-esteem or low self-worth, etc) than the memory you are choosing to work on my be connected to other similar memories.
Each specific, similar memory won't necessarily need to be individually processed through EMDR but we may need to address new feelings, emotions, negative beliefs, or resurfaced memories as they come up. This can lengthen the number of EMDR sessions that you need. Some people work through and process a variety of issues over months or sometimes even years using EMDR therapy.
In addition, some of our counseling sessions may not involve EMDR at all. Standard "talk" therapy may be used at times, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), psycho-education (learning about your symptoms, reasons behind your behaviors, etc), mindfulness, and many more "technical psychotherapy clinical jargon styles" may be used. I am happy to explain any of these additional therapy methods as I use them in our counseling sessions. I believe knowledge is power, so anything you would like to learn about your therapy process, I am happy to explore with you.