Education Mental Health Opinion

EMDR Therapy – An Effective Treatment For Depression in Knoxville



Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy is a type of psychotherapy that uses bilateral stimulation to help people process and recover from traumatic or other challenging life experiences. Therapy involves left-to-right rhythmic movement, such as eye movement desensitization, tapping, or sound stimulation. This will allow people to access and also process negative memories and emotions associated with the traumatic experience.

EMDR therapy is an effective treatment for trauma, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In addition to such treating trauma, it can be a very effective treatment for other problems, such as depression, anxiety, and phobias. EMDR treatment can be done in individual or group settings.

How is EMDR treatment performed?

The EMDR therapy should only be performed by a trained mental health professional EMDR therapist in Knoxville. The process usually includes several stages, such as an interview to assess the client and develop a treatment plan (psychotherapy best practice suggests that this step be done before any procedures go forward). Next, the therapist will identify negative beliefs about one associated with the traumatic experience and replace them with more positive ones. Then, the EMDR therapist in Knoxville uses bilateral stimulation to help the person begin processing and recover from memories related to the experience.

The actual eye movement desensitization and reprocessing treatment can take less than an hour or require several sessions, depending on how long a client’s memories of their experiences can be fully processed. After treatment, clients continue to use what they have learned in therapy even after the formal treatment ends so that they will manage their symptoms on their own

Can EMDR be treated online?

When EMDR therapy is offered online, the basic principles and phases of EMDR do not change. It’s essentially the same as in-person therapy, with the possible exception that people undergoing treatment may benefit from the comforts of their homes while receiving therapy with treatment taking place on a HIPAA-compliant platform rather than in person.

The environment around the client while engaging in virtual EMDR therapy is critical. Therefore, one of the essential elements of EMDR is ensuring a safe environment. Unfortunately, some clients are forced to receive treatment in less than ideal places such as cars, workplaces, or closets because they do not have a private office. This is not recommended for EMDR treatment.

Although most clients can locate a safe place to conduct therapy sessions, many live with family members or roommates who cannot or cannot leave. Therefore, the client needs to confirm the availability of a private and quiet area so they can focus entirely on the session to engage in the EMDR treatment via video conferencing.

Many providers have been using EMDR online with success for years. However, the Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for effective online treatments. Fortunately, thousands of providers have adapted to offer EMDR treatment as telemedicine and telehealth.

There have not yet been extensive studies comparing online-only EMDR with in-person EMDR; However, previously released data are encouraging.

The default setting for EMDR vs. the traditional location:

Virtual EMDR setup: The client is alone in a quiet environment where they feel safe and comfortable and then asked to sit in front of their computer or mobile device with the processor on the screen.

Traditional setup: The client goes to the therapist’s office and sits across from each other.

There is no one size fits all answer to this question as everyone’s needs differ. However, many people find the default EMDR setting more comfortable and private, which can be helpful when working on traumatic memories.

On the other hand, because the therapist can see the client’s body language and facial expressions, they can provide real-time feedback that can help speed up the natural healing processes.


Because of the EMDR therapy is highly customizable; it can be used to improve your mental health for various issues, including PTSD, depression, anxiety disorders, and phobias. The research shows that it is more effective than exposure-based treatments and can sometimes be completed in as little as 6 -12 sessions.  The EMDR therapist in Knoxville has also been shown to help clients better manage their symptoms after the end of formal treatment.