Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy

Mental health issues nowadays are on the rise worldwide. The anxiety and depression can become greater, especially for those who have experienced past traumas or have been dealing with ongoing mental health issues. But there is hope – EMDR Therapy.

Developed in the 1980s, Enter Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy is a revolutionary approach to psychotherapy. It was first introduced for the treatment of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) and over time, it has become a great way to help people break free from the grip of a range of mental conditions, including anxiety, depression, and trauma.

Thrive Downtown understands how debilitating mental health issues are, and being a professional mental health therapy center, we provide you with the best EMDR therapy services in Vancouver. Our EMDR therapy is designed to help you release negative emotions and memories, and move forward with your life.

What is EMDR Therapy? 

Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is psychotherapy where mental health treatment techniques are used to help people heal from traumatic memories and other distressing life experiences. EMDR therapy technique involves bilateral stimulation which is achieved through eye movements, sounds, or taps. Most mental health treatments focus on directly altering the emotions and thoughts resulting from traumatic experiences. EMDR therapy, on the other hand, focuses directly on memory. The goal of the therapy is to change the way that memory is stored in the brain, ultimately reducing problematic symptoms.

EMDR Therapy

What is EMDR Therapy used for?

EMDR Therapy is a highly effective treatment that can be used for the treatment of a range of mental health conditions including anxiety and distress. Particularly, mental health professionals use EMDR therapy for PTSD, a mental health condition that occurs after one experiences or witnesses a traumatic event. The symptoms of PTSD include intrusive memories, nightmares, avoidance behaviours, and hyperarousal. Besides, it can also be helpful in addressing negative beliefs and self-talk that usually hinder the personal growth and development of an individual. Below are listed some of the common issues that can be healed through EMDR therapy.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)


Anxiety and Panic Disorders




Addiction and Substance Abuse


Phobias and Fears


Chronic Pain


Performance Anxiety


Self-esteem and Self-worth Issues


Relationship Issues

Counselor smiling and performing a therapy

Who Can Benefit from EMDR Therapy? 

From adolescents to teenagers to adults, people of all ages can benefit from EMDR therapy. This treatment is for everyone who has been struggling with mental health issues, including those who,

  • Have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event.
  • Are struggling with anxiety, depression, or other mood disorders.
  • Are experiencing relationship issues or low self-esteem.
  • Are struggling with addiction or substance abuse.
  • Are dealing with chronic pain or other physical health issues.
  • Are experiencing performance anxiety.

If you are struggling with any of the mental health conditions mentioned above, you must consider booking an appointment for EMDR therapy counselling with Thrive Downtown.

How Does EMDR Work?

EMDR therapy works by helping individuals process traumatic experiences that have become “stuck” in their minds. When a person experiences trauma, the brain becomes unable to process the event in the same way as a non-traumatic experience, ultimately making the memory fragmented. EMDR therapy helps to reprocess these traumatic memories with a series of structured protocols. EMDR therapy is an eight-phase treatment method and those EMDR phases are history taking, client preparation, body scan, installation, assessment, desensitization, closure and reevaluation of treatment effect.

EMDR Counselling

EMDR therapy involves bilateral stimulation where a therapist guides an individual through a series of eye movements or other forms of bilateral stimulation while they recall the traumatic event. This helps the individual to desensitize to the memory and reduce the emotional reactivity associated with it. During the session, the patient is moved towards a state of post-traumatic growth and resilience. EMDR therapy is delivered one to two times a week and one typically has to attend a total of 6-12 sessions. While some people have to go through fewer sessions, some have to attend sessions for consecutive days to overcome their mental issues.

 Thrive Counselling Centre’s EMDR Therapy Services

Thrive Counselling Centre is a reputed healthcare center that specializes in EMDR therapy in Vancouver. Our experienced counsellors and therapists are dedicated to providing personalized care to our clients, ensuring that they are comfortable and supported throughout the process.

Thrive Counselling Center uses a comprehensive approach to EMDR therapy – we assess your personal history, identify and process negative experiences, and create positive associations to replace negative ones. Our therapists are best at creating a safe and trusting environment so that you can explore your emotions and experiences without fear of judgment.

Meet Our Thrive Team

What do you do in EMDR Therapy?

During an EMDR therapy session, the patient focuses on a specific traumatic memory while simultaneously moving their eyes back and forth. It may also involve some other form of bilateral stimulation such as tapping or listening to sounds that alternate between the left and right ears. The therapist guides the individual through a series of sets of eye movements or other bilateral stimulation while asking them to focus on the disturbing memory, negative thought, and related physical sensations. The sets of eye movements usually last for 20-30 seconds and are repeated several times during the session. Through this process, EMDR therapy helps the brain to reprocess the traumatic memory and reduce the intensity of emotions and negative beliefs associated with the event. The end goal of a session is to help the patient gain new insights and perspectives on the trauma and improve his/her sense of well-being.

What to Expect after EMDR Therapy?

Once you complete an EMDR therapy session, you may experience various emotions, sensations, or insights. You generally feel a sense of relief and relaxation as the therapy is designed to process and release painful emotions related to past traumas. The problem that forced you to take EMDR therapy will begin feeling less significant, and old triggers will no longer have their usual effect. You are likely not to be scared or anxious about things that used to bother you. After EMDR therapy, you may experience vivid dreams or memories related to the traumatic event in the following days but don’t worry – it’s a normal part of the healing process. It is important to note that everyone has a unique experience with EMDR therapy. Your experience after a session may differ from others.

 EMDR Therapy Cost

The cost of EMDR therapy varies between the therapist and location. Thrive Counselling Centre understands that investing in mental health can be a financial commitment, but we believe that it is a worthwhile investment.  Our fees for EMDR therapy services are competitive with other counselling and therapy center in Vancouver. We work with clients to find a plan that fits their budget. We provide you with a free 15-min phone consultation. Connect with us if you have any questions about our EMDR therapy cost.


$165 + GST


$65 + GST



What does EMDR stand for?
EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing and it’s a therapy that is widely used to help people heal from mental issues such as anxiety, stress and depression. Psychologist Dr. Francine Shapiro was the one who originally developed EMDR therapy in the late 1980s and the the goal of the therapy was to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Is EMDR Therapy covered by insurance?
EMDR therapy may be covered by insurance, but it depends on your specific insurance plan. It’s important to check with your insurance provider to see if they cover EMDR therapy and if there are any limitations or requirements. Thrive Counselling Centre provides you with a receipt for reimbursement if your insurance plan covers EMDR therapy.
Who is EMDR not appropriate for?
EMDR therapy may not be appropriate for everyone. It’s important to have a thorough assessment with a qualified therapist to determine if EMDR therapy is the right approach for you. EMDR may not be suitable for people with certain medical or mental health conditions, such as epilepsy or dissociative disorders. Consult with Thrive Counselling Center to find out whether EMDR therapy is appropriate for you or not.
How many sessions do you need for EMDR?
The number of EMDR therapy sessions required can vary depending on the individual and their specific needs. Some may only require only a few sessions, while others may need more. EMDR therapy typically has one to two sessions a week and on average, the total number of sessions ranges from 6 to 12.
Does EMDR work?
Yes, EMDR therapy has been shown to effectively treat a variety of mental health concerns, including PTSD and depression. Numerous studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of EMDR therapy in improving the overall functioning of the brain. However, it’s important to note that not everyone responds to EMDR therapy in the same way, and the results may vary between individuals.
How long does it take for EMDR to work?
The amount of time it takes for EMDR therapy to work varies between individuals and their specific needs. Some people may start to notice improvements after just a few sessions, while others may require more sessions before seeing significant changes. It’s important to discuss your progress with your therapist regularly to ensure that you are getting the most out of your EMDR therapy sessions.
Does EMDR work for anxiety?
Yes, EMDR therapy has been shown to be effective in treating anxiety disorders, including social anxiety, phobias, and generalized anxiety disorder. EMDR therapy helps to reprocess traumatic memories and reduce the associated emotional distress, ultimately alleviating the symptoms of anxiety.
Is EMDR better than CBT?
EMDR therapy and cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) are both evidence-based treatments for a variety of mental health concerns. Both approaches have been shown to be effective, and the choice between EMDR and CBT may depend on the specific needs of an individual. Some people may respond better to EMDR therapy, while others may prefer CBT. It’s important to counsel with a qualified therapist to determine the best approach for you.
Is EMDR a form of hypnosis?
EMDR therapy is not a form of hypnosis. EMDR and hypnosis may share some similarities, such as using imagery and visualization techniques but they are totally distinct approaches to therapy. In EMDR, the therapist guides the patient through a series of eye movements and other bilateral stimulations while hypnosis typically involves inducing a trance-like state of deep relaxation and heightened suggestibility, during which the therapist can enter one’s subconscious mind.