EMDR Therapy: Is It Safe or Does It Have Side Effects?


EMDR therapy is a widely used and well-studied form of psychotherapy that has been shown to be effective in reducing the symptoms of PTSD. However, there are some who question whether it can cause any harm or side effects. In this post, we’ll explore how EMDR therapy works and what’s known about its potential risks for both therapists and patients. 

Is EMDR Therapy safe?

Yes, EMDR is a safe and proven form of psychotherapy that works by activating the natural healing processes of the brain.

Are There Any Harmful Side Effects of EMDR Therapy?

EMDR therapy re-processes the negativities experienced in the past by establishing a connection between the unconscious and consciousness, between the present and the past. It does this with double stimulation (eye movements). In this article, we will discuss if there are any side effects of EMDR therapy.

It’s only natural that people want to be treated because of some processes that can’t be controlled or digested, and where unpleasant memories are dragged up. However, some people think that the therapy will be harmful and there will be side effects and they are worried about it.

During the therapy process, people may have worries such as “what if I get very depressed and if my troubles get worse…”

In this section, we consider whether EMDR therapy has side effects and harms.

With EMDR, we are entering some topics that you may not be able to explain to many people, even yourself, and that you do not want to face. Of course, we don’t get into these issues right away. As you feel comfortable and trust your therapist, you begin to share. These issues are discussed as long as you share and feel comfortable.

Even when people share their troubles, that feeling of overwhelm can be reflected in the therapy room. Therefore, EMDR therapy is progressed in accordance with the tolerance window. (We explained this subject in detail in the related topic.)

In EMDR therapy, we prioritize staying at a moderate level of emotional triggering. Therefore, it is not a method to be feared.

In addition, as in some other therapy approaches, certain emotional fluctuations and an increase in emotions may occur for a short period of time during the therapy process. This does not mean that anything is getting worse. This indicates that it is moving towards important points.

Last Updated on November 22, 2021 by Patric Johnson

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I was born in Sweden but came to America to study. I'm doing my master's degree on Emdr here. I love to explore different psychotherapy methods and share this information. For your questions, you can contact me at my e-mail address.

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