EMDR at Supreme Wellness Recovery

Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is the non-invasive psychotherapy method we use to help survivors of psychological trauma by reprocessing their beliefs about the trauma.

Supreme Wellness Recovery offers EMDR at our Bucks County and Montgomery County locations as part of our evidence-based addiction treatment program.

What Is EMDR?


EMDR is likely to be different from any other type of therapy you have encountered. The main component of EMDR is eye movements, but our practitioners also utilize hand-tapping and audio stimulation in some cases. The stimulation received during EMDR mimics the eye movements that happen naturally during the REM (rapid eye movement) sleep cycle.

How Do EMDR Sessions Work?

During EMDR, your Supreme Wellness therapist will ask you to focus on an unpleasant experience or event, something you have already discussed during a session. As you remain focused, our therapist will direct you through a series of side-to-side eye movements, taps, or sounds. Staying focused on the memory while experiencing different bilateral stimulations allows the brain to reprocess the traumatic event.

At intervals, our therapist will ask questions about the experience, specifically about the feelings, thoughts, and images that came to mind. Your answers tell us how the reprocessing is working.

We may repeat the stages of bilateral stimulation and questioning several times during one session. Sessions typically last between 60 to 90 minutes, and a complete cycle includes eight phases.

What Are the 8 Stages of EMDR?

The total number of sessions needed to experience all eight stages of EMDR varies according to each patient and the issues they need help processing.

1. History and Treatment Planning

This phase includes the discussion of the problems that brought the client to Supreme Wellness. Unlike many other forms of therapy, EMDR does not require a lengthy, in-depth discussion of personal issues. To be effective, EMDR only requires that the client focus on the target event.

2. Preparation

Our therapist will teach you some specific techniques to aid the EMDR process during preparation. One of the main goals during this phase is establishing a trustful relationship.

3. Assessment

During our assessment, we’ll have you select a specific image from the target event to represent the memory and a statement that succinctly expresses the negative feelings associated with the event. For example, “I am unlovable.”

Then, you will choose a positive statement to replace the negative one, such as “I am worthy of love.” These statements will be ranked and evaluated throughout the process.

4. Desensitization

During desensitization, our therapist will lead patients through a set of eye movements, taps, or sounds. As your perspective changes, the beliefs about the negative statement reduce. Complete resolution of the target event is the eventual goal.

5. Installation

During the installation phase, the goal is for the client’s belief in the validity of their positive statement to increase, eventually accepting that the statement is completely true.

6. Body Scan

Studies of EMDR have shown that the body has a physical response to unresolved beliefs. One marker of the success of EMDR is if our client can recall the original target event without feeling any tension in the body.

7. Closure

We will brief you on what to expect between sessions and recommend calming techniques to use outside of therapy during the closure phase.

Phases three through seven all take place during the same session.

8. Reevaluation

Every new session begins with reevaluation. It helps our therapists determine the success of the previous session and select the next best steps in the therapeutic process.

Who Can EMDR Help?

Supreme Wellness uses EMDR to treat a number of mental health disorders, including:

  • PTSD
  • Panic attacks
  • Substance or alcohol addiction
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

Anyone who has experienced a traumatic event they are having difficulty resolving can benefit from EMDR treatment at Supreme Wellness.

Benefits of EMDR in Addiction Treatment

There is a strong link between addiction and trauma. It’s estimated that approximately 50% of all people with a substance use disorder have experienced at least one traumatic event in their lifetime. In some cases, that traumatic event triggered the behavior that led to addiction.

Whether trauma was the cause or result of addiction, EMDR is highly effective at treating it.

Some of the benefits EMDR offers to those in addiction recovery include:

  • Reprocessing traumatic events that triggered the addiction
  • Reduced symptoms of PTSD
  • Reduce desire to use drugs/alcohol as a way to process trauma
  • More focus on recovery

EMDT is also helpful for people struggling with addiction because it focuses their full energy on recovery. Once past traumas are reprocessed, they don’t create obstacles that distract from addiction treatment.

EMDR at Supreme Wellness Recovery

At Supreme Wellness Recovery, we are committed to providing a variety of evidence-based therapies to help our clients be successful in their recovery journey.

Our locations in Buck County and Montgomery County include a caring, qualified staff of therapists and recovery specialists who are committed to making your wellness journey a successful one. We are also proud to be in-network for most major insurance providers.


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Supreme Wellness is a diverse team of professionals committed to achieving positive client outcomes by delivering appropriate quality care in an ethical and compassionate manner. We look to treat the whole person by providing not only clinical treatment, but also life and job skills to invest in their own future.