EMDR and Anxiety

Anxiety can be a very debilitating condition that negatively affects various aspects of your life. It can cause sleep disturbances, difficulty concentrating, and irritability. Thankfully, there are various treatment modalities available for individuals suffering from anxiety, including psychotherapy. One type of psychotherapy that has been gaining popularity in recent years is Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). Here is how EMDR can help with anxiety.

Decreasing Intensity of Traumatic Memories

Many individuals who suffer from anxiety have experienced one or more traumatic events in their lives. The problem with these types of events is that they often have a lasting impact on the individual’s psyche. Through the use of EMDR therapy, clients are able to confront their traumatic memories and work through them. The intervention can help desensitize clients to their traumatic memories, making them less intense over time, resulting in lower levels of anxiety.

Increased Self-Awareness

To better manage anxiety, it is important to be self-aware of your thoughts, feelings, emotions, and triggers. With EMDR therapy, clients are encouraged to become more self-aware, thus increasing mindfulness. When you are able to identify what causes your anxiety, it is easier to work on managing it.

Promoting New Connections in the Brain

EMDR therapy utilizes bilateral stimulation methods, such as eye movements, to promote the formation of new neural connections in the brain. This process helps clients reprocess distressing memories in a more adaptive way. This fosters healing, leading to a reduction in anxiety levels.

Reduced Negative Beliefs with EMDR

Anxiety is often fuelled by negative beliefs that individuals hold about themselves and the world around them. These beliefs often develop from traumatic experiences and past events. Through EMDR therapy, clients are encouraged to challenge these negative beliefs and replace them with positive ones. For example, replacing the thought “I’m helpless” with “I am capable.”

Improved Coping Skills with EMDR

Lastly, EMDR therapy can help individuals with anxiety develop improved coping skills that can help them manage their symptoms. This may include relaxation techniques, mindfulness, and other stress-reduction methods. With regular practice, these coping mechanisms can be very helpful in reducing anxiety over time.


EMDR therapy is an effective treatment modality for anxiety that has helped many people manage their symptoms and lead a more fulfilling life. It is important to remember, however, that different interventions work differently for different people. What works for one person may not work for another. Therefore, it is important to work with a licensed mental health provider to determine what intervention is best for your specific needs. If you’re interested in EMDR therapy, talk to your provider and see if it may be a good fit for you.