Virtual EMDR Review – Best For DIY PTSD Trauma Healing

By Jared Levenson - Reviewed on April 16, 2023
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What is Virtual EMDR and Who For?

Recently, a new type of EMDR called “virtual EMDR” has emerged. This type of EMDR is often done remotely, and many people wonder if it is as effective as traditional EMDR.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss what virtual EMDR is, how it works, and under which conditions it is most effective.

The Online Mental Health Reviews (OMHR) team consists of experienced mental health professionals who are dedicated to providing accurate and evidence-based information about online therapy and mental health.

We understand the complexities involved with this type of treatment and we are familiar with the different scenarios in which virtual EMDR may not work as well. With our knowledge and expertise, we strive to give readers the most reliable information about virtual EMDR therapy online.

Overall, individuals who want to focus on healing their trauma (science research supports EMDR for trauma particularly) and people who have difficulties talking about trauma (with EMDR you don’t need to do as much talking) are the ideal candidates for EMDR therapy.

Virtual EMDR, the program we’re reviewing, is specifically best for people who struggle with trauma and PTSD and want to try things individually or do-it-yourself (DIY).

Please note that finding & working with a therapist you trust, is necessary, but DIY EMDR work virtually can be a good start.

Virtual EMDR
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Virtual EMDR is best for people with trauma and PTSD who want to try things on their own or do-it-yourself (DIY).


  1. Self-guided process: The platform provides a step-by-step process for individuals to follow, allowing them to engage in EMDR healing at their own pace and comfort level.
  2. Accessible and convenient: As an online platform, is easily accessible from anywhere with internet access, making it convenient for those with busy schedules or limited access to in-person therapy.
  3. Cost-effective: Compared to traditional in-person therapy, may be more affordable for some individuals, especially if they do not have insurance coverage for mental health services.
  4. Option to connect with a therapist: Although the platform encourages users to try EMDR on their own, it also provides the option to connect with a therapist for additional support if needed.
  5. Privacy and anonymity: allows users to maintain their privacy while engaging in the therapeutic process, which can be particularly appealing to those who feel hesitant about sharing their experiences in a traditional therapy setting.


  1. Limited personal interaction: The self-guided nature of the platform may not provide the same level of personalized support and feedback as working with a therapist in-person.
  2. Potential for misuse or misunderstanding: Without proper guidance, there is a risk that users may not fully understand the EMDR process or might apply the techniques incorrectly, potentially causing harm.
  3. Not suitable for everyone: may not be appropriate for individuals with severe mental health issues or those who require more intensive support than what the platform can provide.
  4. Lack of comprehensive assessment: The platform may not offer the same level of in-depth assessment and diagnosis as a qualified mental health professional, which could limit its effectiveness in addressing complex issues.
  5. Reliance on technology: As an online platform, relies on technology, which may pose challenges for users with limited internet access or technical difficulties.

Benefits of Online EMDR

  1. One of the main benefits of online EMDR therapy is its flexibility. Unlike traditional therapy, which requires both the client and therapist to be in the same physical space, online EMDR can be done remotely. This makes it easier for both parties to schedule sessions at times that are convenient for them.
  2. Another benefit of online EMDR is that it can be just as effective as traditional therapy when it comes to treating mental health issues such as PTSD, depression, and anxiety. Studies have shown that online EMDR can reduce symptoms of PTSD as well as anxiety and depression.
  3. Finally, online EMDR can help people access memories and emotions more easily than traditional therapy because it uses eye movements or other forms of bilateral stimulation to simulate the natural action of memory processing. This helps people process traumatic memories and deep core negative beliefs much more effectively than they would with traditional talk therapy alone, with some people.

Overall, online EMDR offers many benefits for those struggling with mental health issues such as PTSD, depression, and anxiety. It provides flexibility in scheduling sessions, is just as effective as traditional therapy, and helps people access traumatic memories more easily than talk therapy alone.

What is Virtual EMDR?

virtual EMDR review

Virtual EMDR is a variation of traditional, in-person EMDR therapy.

Virtual EMDR often refers to both 1) online EMDR training without a live therapist and 2) Working with a live therapist who conducts EMDR therapy sessions.

  • Instead of going to a therapist’s office, you can do it from home or anywhere that you feel comfortable. You need an internet connection, a computer, or a smartphone to access the platform.
  • There are several virtual EMDR programs available that are easy to use and are often much more affordable than traditional EMDR sessions.
  • Virtual EMDR is easy to use, and it can fit into your tight schedule. During virtual EMDR training, you can do it at your own pace, which might help you to fully engage in the process.

What is Virtual EMDR good for?

Virtual EMDR is a useful tool for managing traumatic experiences that might have occurred recently or in the past.

  • Virtual EMDR is ideal for mild to moderate mental health conditions that are not life-threatening. However, for severe mental health problems, such as suicidal thoughts, it’s best to seek help from a licensed therapist who can provide the best interventions.
  • Virtual EMDR is effective in treating several problems such as phobias, PTSD, and anxiety disorders. One excellent example is if you have a specific phobia, like a fear of heights. You can access the virtual EMDR program and follow specific instructions to process the threatening event, which may help to reduce the intensity of the phobia.
  • Virtual EMDR should be considered a complementary therapy to traditional EMDR, psychotherapy, or medication.

How Does Virtual EMDR Work? Everything You Need to Know

EMDR, or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, is a type of psychotherapy that helps people process traumatic memories.

It works by having the patient focus on a traumatic memory while simultaneously engaging in some type of dual-attention activity, such as following the therapist’s finger with their eyes or listening to alternating tones in their ears. This helps to desensitize the patient from the trauma and allows them to adapt more positively to it.

Virtual EMDR is similar to traditional EMDR therapy in that it still relies on the use of dual-attention activities.

The therapist, if there is one, will guide the patient through the same steps as they would in an in-person session, but all from the comfort of their own home.

Studies have shown that Virtual EMDR can be just as effective as traditional EMDR therapy when it comes to treating complex trauma and other types of pain from a distance. But in these studies, the ‘virtual EMDR’ refers to live EMDR therapy sessions conducted with a licensed therapist.

The main difference between Virtual EMDR and traditional EMDR is that there is no direct communication with a therapist during Virtual EMDR sessions. Instead, patients are guided through pre-recorded audio or video instructions by an online guide.

Overall, Virtual EMDR can be an effective way for those struggling with mental health issues to receive treatment without having to leave their homes. It’s important for anyone considering starting virtual EMDR therapy to speak with a qualified mental health professional first so they can determine if this form of therapy is right for them.

Who Should Not Have EMDR Sessions

  1. Individuals with severe trauma – Virtual EMDR may be too intense for those who have experienced significant trauma and may cause more distress.
  2. People who are easily distracted – Those who cannot stay focused on the task at hand might not benefit from treatment via virtual EMDR.
  3. Those in need of emergency care – Virtual EMDR is meant to provide long-term care and should not be used as a substitute for urgent medical attention.
  4. People with limited computer access – Without reliable internet access and adequate equipment, virtual EMDR might be difficult to complete.
  5. Children under the age of 18 – As EMDR therapy requires sophisticated interaction between therapist and patient, it may not be suitable for children under 18 years old.
  6. Individuals without a strong support system – Virtual EMDR can involve confronting underlying issues that may require extra emotional support from friends or family members.
  7. People who are not willing to participate fully – To get the most out of virtual EMDR, a person must be willing to commit to participating actively in the therapy process, which may include revealing deep personal details about oneself or one’s experience of life events and emotions..
  8. Individuals in active addiction – Until an addiction has been stabilized, virtual EMDr might prove counter-productive as it could potentially trigger relapses due to underlying triggers being brought up during sessions.
  9. Those seeking fast relief – Although it can bring long-term healing benefits, virtual EMDR takes time and effort to progress through various stages of treatment in a positive way.

Who Does Virtual EMDR Therapy For Work Best?

Virtual EMDR works best for those who have access to a reliable internet connection and are comfortable using technology for communication. It also requires that you have access to a private space where you can do the exercises without interruption or distraction.

If you are considering virtual EMDR, it is important to make sure that you meet all of the requirements listed by your therapist before beginning treatment. This will ensure that your experience with virtual EMDR is just as effective as if it were done in person.

Overall, virtual EMDR can be an effective way to treat mental health issues like OCD from the comfort of your own home if you have access to the necessary resources and support system.

When Does Virtual EMDR Therapy Not Work?

While virtual EMDR is generally effective, there are some cases where it may not work as well.

  • One reason why virtual EMDR may not work is if the person has a complicated mental health issue that affects their ability to focus and process information.
  • Another reason could be if the person needs more support than what can be provided through virtual EMDR, such as during times of crisis or when they need more guidance from their therapist.
  • Additionally, if the person has difficulty activating negative memory content or triggers, then virtual EMDR may not be the best option for them.

It’s important to talk to your therapist about whether or not virtual EMDR would be an effective treatment option for you. Your therapist will assess your individual needs and determine if virtual EMDR is right for you.

What Conditions And Problems Does EMDR Treat?

EMDR has been proven to be effective in treating a variety of conditions, including Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), eating disorders, and substance abuse. It can also help with comorbid psychiatric issues.

The goal of EMDR therapy is to reduce the distress associated with traumatic memories and help people process their experiences more healthily.

During an EMDR session, the therapist will guide the patient through eye movements or other forms of bilateral stimulation while they recall their traumatic memories. This helps to desensitize the patient to those memories and reprocess them in a more positive light.

Similarities Between In-Person and Online EMDR Therapy

EMDR, or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, is a type of therapy used to treat mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression, and PTSD. It can be conducted in person or online through telehealth.

The process for virtual EMDR sessions is largely the same as for in-person sessions.

The cost of an online EMDR therapist is largely equivalent to in-person EMDR treatment. Both types of therapy require specialized training and experience from the provider, so it’s important to make sure you find a qualified therapist regardless of whether you choose an in-person or virtual session.

If you are considering EMDR therapy but are unable to attend an in-person session due to time constraints or other factors, then virtual EMDR could be a good option for you. It’s important to discuss your needs with your therapist before making any decisions about which type of therapy would be best for you.

Differences Between In-Person and Online EMDR

In-person EMDR typically takes place in a therapist’s office. During the session, the therapist will use bilateral or dual attention devices to help the patient process their emotions.

This can include eye movements, tapping, or sound stimulation.

Online EMDR is conducted virtually through video conferencing software like Zoom or Skype. The same techniques used in in-person sessions are used during online sessions; however, some minor adjustments may need to be made due to the virtual setting.

The only difference between the two is that some minor adjustments may need to be made to the technology used. For example, instead of using hand signals to indicate when the patient has processed a memory, the therapist may use audio cues like “yes” or “no” instead.

For example, instead of using eye movements or tapping as a bilateral device, the therapist may ask the patient to imagine these sensations while they talk about their experiences.

Overall, both types of EMDR are effective online or in-person treatments for mental health issues; however, it is important to consider which type would work best for you based on your individual needs and preferences.

Is Online EMDR Effective?

Online EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapy is a highly effective form of treatment for mental health issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and anxiety.

Studies have shown that online EMDR can be just as effective as in-person sessions, provided the requirements for online therapy are met (such as live therapy sessions and not just online training videos, and no immediate danger/crisis).

Overall, Online EMDR is an effective form of treatment for mental health issues such as PTSD, depression, and anxiety. Research has shown that virtual EDMR therapy sessions can be just as successful as in-person sessions when done correctly2.

Is EMDR Science-Based?

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a type of psychotherapy that has been used to treat trauma, anxiety, and depression. It involves the use of eye movements to help process traumatic memories and reduce symptoms.

While some studies have shown that EMDR can be effective in treating certain mental health conditions, other studies have not found it to be more effective than other forms of mental health treatment.

  • The US National Institute of Medicine found insufficient evidence to recommend EMDR as a form of treatment in 2008.
  • A systematic review by the World Health Organization concluded that EMDR was an effective form of therapy for PTSD when compared with non-intervention-based psychological counseling.
  • Additionally, the American Psychological Association1 cited EMDR as an evidence-based practice for the treatment of PTSD, anxiety, and depression symptoms.

However, Scientific American3 claims EDMR is better than nothing but not better than Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, which is more time-tested and gets better outcomes overall.

Overall, there is still debate about whether or not EMDR is a scientifically proven form of therapy. More research is needed to determine its effectiveness for different mental health conditions – but overall EDMR does provide benefits.

Indeed, many people have reported positive results from using this type of therapy and it may be worth considering if you are struggling with mental health issues.

Does Rapid Eye Movement Therapy Work?

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a type of therapy that helps people process and release traumatic memories. It does not rely on talk therapy or medications but instead uses the patient’s own rapid, rhythmic eye movements to help them process the memory.

During EMDR, therapists move your eyes from side to side while getting you to focus on a fragmented traumatic memory or emotion. This helps the brain reprocess memory until it is no longer disruptive.

Studies have shown that EMDR is an effective treatment for trauma-related issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, panic attacks, and depression. It can also be used to help with other mental health issues such as phobias and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

If you are struggling with mental health issues and want to know more about EMDR therapy, it is important to speak with a qualified therapist who can guide you through the process. With the right support, EMDR can be a powerful tool in helping you manage your mental health.

How Does EMDR Work Online With Therapy?

Online EMDR therapy works similarly to in-person services, but with virtual EMDR with live therapy sessions, the therapist and client are in separate locations.

The therapist will guide the client through the same steps as they would if they were meeting in person. They will ask questions about the client’s experience and have them focus on certain images or memories while doing eye movements. This helps to reduce stress and anxiety related to trauma therapy.

EMDR is short-term, effective, and can be done from home through online therapy. It can be used to treat a variety of mental health issues such as PTSD, anxiety, depression, phobias, grief, and more. Finding a therapist who specializes in online EMDR is important for getting the best results from this type of therapy.

Overall, online EMDR therapy can be just as effective as doing it in person if you meet certain requirements like having access to video conferencing software or a secure platform for communication between you and your therapist.

If you’re considering starting virtual EMDR therapy, make sure you find an experienced therapist who specializes in this type of treatment so that you get the best results possible.

How Long Does It Take for EMDR to Work?

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a type of therapy that helps people process traumatic memories. It can be used to treat a variety of mental health issues such as PTSD, anxiety, and depression. The length of treatment varies for each person, but typically it takes several sessions to see results.

A single incident trauma can be addressed in as little as eight to twelve 90-minute sessions. For complex traumas, the number of sessions needed may vary depending on the individual’s needs. Some people may need more than twelve sessions while others may experience a significant reduction in symptoms after just a few sessions.

It is important to find an experienced EMDR therapist who can guide you through the process and help you get the most out of your therapy sessions. EMDR therapy is a natural healing process, not a quick fix, and requires patience and dedication from both the therapist and the patient.

Can You Do EMDR Over Video Call?

Yes, you can do EMDR over a video call.

It is important to note that EMDR must be provided by an EMDR-trained therapist and that online sessions may present some challenges due to technological limitations. Therefore, it is important to find a therapist who specializes in online EMDR practice so they can guide how best to use virtual tools for your session.

If you are considering trying online EMDR therapy, it is important to discuss this option with your therapist first so you can decide if it is right for you and your situation.

What Theory Is EMDR Based On?

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a type of psychotherapy that helps people heal from the symptoms and emotional distress caused by traumatic events.

It was developed by Francine Shapiro in the 1980s and is based on the Adaptive Information Processing (AIP) model. This model suggests that much of mental health issues are due to the maladaptive encoding of traumatic experiences.

During a typical EMDR therapy session, the patient focuses on a trauma memory while simultaneously experiencing bilateral stimulation, such as side-to-side eye movements or tapping. This helps them reprocess their memories more adaptively, leading to reduced distress and improved functioning.

If you are struggling with mental health issues related to a traumatic experience, EMDR may be an effective treatment option for you. Talk to your doctor or therapist about whether it could be right for you.

Does Virtual EMDR Work Conclusion:

Virtual EMDR is an effective tool for treating mild to moderate mental health conditions. It is a suitable option for people who want the convenience of doing therapy from the comfort of their homes. However, it’s important to understand that virtual EMDR is not a replacement for traditional EMDR, psychotherapy, or medication.

If you’re experiencing severe mental health problems, it is best to seek the assistance of a licensed therapist who can help you with the appropriate interventions. Moreover, it’s always advisable to consult with a mental health professional to help you determine if virtual EMDR is right for you. Virtual EMDR is an excellent option that holds promise in treating trauma and anxiety, but it must be applied with care and attention, just like any other therapy.

For further reading, check these articles about how EMDR therapy works, where to find, EMDR insurance, benefits, pros and cons, login info, EMDR training, and EMDR for OCD.

Our team invites you to share your thoughts in the comments section below. Let us know which mental health software products, apps, or courses that Online Mental Health Reviews should explore and review next.


  1. (n.d.).
  2. McGowan, I. W., Fisher, N., Havens, J., & Proudlock, S. (2021, November 11). An evaluation of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy delivered remotely during the Covid–19 pandemic. BMC Psychiatry21(1).
  3. Scott O. Lilienfeld, H. A. (n.d.). EMDR: Taking a Closer Look. Scientific American.

If You’re In An Emergency

If you’re in a crisis and need help immediately, call 911 or 988 for the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. You can also reach out to the SAMHSA National Helpline at 800-662-HELP (4357) for 24/7 confidential help with mental health issues or substance abuse disorders and information on how to seek treatment.

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