EMDR : Kate Murphy Therapy
Kate Murphy, LCSW specializes in working with people suffering from anxiety and depression, and provides couples therapy including premarital counseling in the Atlanta metro area of Norcross, GA at the Pathway Center for Psychotherapy.
premarital counseling, anxiety, depression, sleeplessness, anger, control issues, career issues, stress, lack of balance, individual therapy, couples therapy, counseling, psychotherapy, Atlanta GA, Gwinnett County, DeKalb County, Fulton County, Norcross GA.
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EMDR processing


Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is an evidence-based psychotherapy treatment developed in the early 1990’s by Francine Shapiro. EMDR is designed to alleviate the distress associated with overwhelming or traumatic memories that are impacting present day functioning and beliefs about self. 


Life events are revisited and watched as if from a train window or in a movie theater with bilateral stimulation (BLS) and many small breaks to touch base. The experience of going from the beginning to the end of the memory with support allows for complete processing, elimination of emotional distress, and new insights and perspectives.


EMDR therapy can be used in person or online. Most often, EMDR will be a part of our weekly or bi-weekly sessions, however, EMDR can be a stand-alone treatment or an adjunct to therapy with another therapist. Research has shown that a single event can be processed within 3 session for 80-90% of individuals. 

Not all grief is traumatic, but all trauma involves grief.

EMDR: 8 Phases of Treatment

The 1st phase is a history-taking session(s). We identify possible targets for EMDR processing. These include distressing memories and current situations that cause emotional distress.

During the 2nd phase of treatment, we will learn different skills to handle emotional distress. Skills will include visual imagery, deep breathing techniques, tapping, and intentional distraction activities.

In phases three to six, a target is identified and processed using EMDR therapy procedures. These involve the client identifying three things:


  1. The vivid visual image related to the memory.
  2. A negative belief about self & a hoped for positive belief about self in relation to this event.
  3. Related emotions and body sensations


Focus on the image, negative thought, and body sensations while simultaneously engaging in EMDR processing using sets of bi-lateral stimulation (BLS) consisting of eye movements, tapping, or sound. At this point, instruction is to just notice whatever spontaneously happens.

After each BLS set, you will be asked what you notice; thought, feeling, image, memory, or sensation. Just a quick headline check in. This is not a time to process content and insights as in regular talk therapy.

Repeated sets with directed focused attention occur numerous times throughout the session. If the processing becomes too overwhelming, processing is stopped and grounding exercises – established in Phase 1- are done together to calm emotional dysregulation.

When no distress related to the targeted memory is reported, a preferred positive belief that has been identified at the beginning of the session is explored to see if it fits now. 

At this time, the positive belief may be adjusted to something that feels truer given a new understanding of events. The agreed upon positive belief is focused on for more sets of BLS.

Keep a log between sessions. The log should document dreams, moods, changes in behavior related to targeted issue. Reminder to use grounding techniques as needed.

Phase eight consists of examining the progress made thus far and plans are made for future needs.


Schedule a Free 20-minute Phone Consultation Today.


Kate Murphy, a therapist in Chamblee, GA, specializes in helping you decrease stress and anxiety. You can live a more balanced, connected, and meaningful life. Kate works with individuals and couples over the age of 18 to support healing, communicating, and experiencing joy more often.


2951 Flowers Road S., Suite 224

Chamblee, GA 30341

Video Counseling available in GA and FL

Email: kate@katemurphytherapy.com
Phone: (678) 348-6017