EMDR Therapy: How It Works and What It Costs 

By Jared Levenson - Reviewed on April 7, 2023
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What is Virtual EMDR and Who For?

If you’ve been considering therapy for a mental health issue, then you’ve likely heard of EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapy.

This type of therapy is becoming increasingly popular, as it helps treat trauma, anxiety, and depression. But why? And does moving your eyes side to side work?

While many people know the benefits of EMDR therapy, they may not know exactly how it works or what it costs.

Let’s take a closer look at EMDR so you can better understand the process and its cost. 

Our team at Online Mental Health Reviews is here to get you more information from reliable sources and give you the low-down so you get what you’re looking for.

Overall, EMDR therapy is best for people who want to focus on healing from trauma (science study supports EMDR for trauma in particular) and for people who have trouble talking about trauma (with EMDR, you don’t have to talk as much).

What is EMDR therapy?

Here are 9 interesting things you should know about EMDR, according to ClevelandClinic.Org1:

  1. EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing and has been around since the late 1980s.
  2. During EMDR therapy, eye movement is combined with other stimuli such as light, sounds, or taps to help the brain process memories or traumas while the client focuses on them.
  3. Healing from trauma or other upsetting situations is EMDR’s aim.
  4. The American Psychological Association outlines 8 phases of EMDR therapy: history-taking, preparing the client, assessing the target memory, processing the memory to adaptive resolution, and evaluating the treatment results.
  5. EMDR is a relatively recent form of therapy. In 1989, researchers conducted the first EMDR clinical trial.
  6. The US Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense classifies it as an effective way to treat veterans with PTSD.
  7. Clinical trials, research studies, and academic papers have been conducted to validate its efficacy.
  8. WHO, UK, Australia, and German government organizations/agencies have officially sanctioned it.
  9. Most individuals will achieve their goals in 8-12 sessions, a shorter time frame than regular talk therapy.

Who is EMDR for?

EMDR works by helping the patient focus on the traumatic memory while experiencing bilateral stimulation, such as eye movements or tapping (or following a finger moving back and forth if you find that helpful).

This helps to reprocess the memory in a new light and create a more positive belief system. It is particularly helpful for those suffering from PTSD, anxiety, panic attacks, compulsions, and other forms of trauma.

EMDR is a safe and non-invasive method of treatment that can help people move past their traumatic experiences and live healthier lives.

In brief, when the patient focuses on an emotionally charged memory while following the therapist’s finger with their eyes back and forth from side to side, this helps them better cope with their feelings associated with the memory or event.

The goal of EMDR therapy is to enable the patient to have a less distressing view of their traumatic experience. 

Other forms of bilateral stimulation can work as well, from pressing hands together and other techniques.

How Does Eye Movement Work? 

The exact mechanism behind why eye movement works as an effective treatment for trauma is unknown; however, many researchers believe that it has something to do with the brain’s ability to integrate information more quickly when exposed to alternating stimuli like eye movement.

Ultimately, this helps speed up processing time between memories associated with negative events and those that are not related at all, allowing patients to better manage their reactions when thinking about past traumas or stressful situations. 

What Does EMDR Cost? 

The cost of EMDR varies depending on several factors including where you live and who your therapist is, and if your insurance coverage includes EMDR.

Generally speaking though, most individual sessions range from $75-$150 per hour depending on your chosen therapist’s experience level and geographical location. If you’re working with a private EMDR specialist with years of experience the expense can be $300+ per session (not included in the calculations below).

Group sessions can be much cheaper than individual sessions but will depend on similar factors such as group size and duration.

With these assumptions, you’re looking at the cost of EDMR therapy, as being:

  • Lower symptom severity + Low Cost Therapy > 75$ X 8 Sessions = $600
  • High symptom severity + Out of Pocket > $150 X 12 Sessions = $1800
  • EDMR therapy average cost estimate = $1200

Is Online EMDR Effective?

Online EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a type of therapy that has been proven to be effective in treating mental health issues such as PTSD, phobias, anxiety, and traumatic experiences. It works by helping the client process their emotions and memories related to the trauma in a safe environment.

In Online EMDR therapy, the therapist will use techniques such as eye movements, tapping, audio stimulation, or other forms of stimulation to help the client process their emotions and memories. The therapist may also use online software or have the client self-tap during the session. Research has shown that this type of therapy can be as effective as face-to-face EMDR therapy.

Overall, Online EMDR is an effective form of therapy for those struggling with mental health issues. It can provide a safe space for clients to process their emotions and memories related to trauma without having to leave their homes.

If you are considering Online EMDR therapy, it is important to speak with a qualified therapist who can help you determine if this type of treatment is right for you.

How Does EMDR Work Online?

EMDR can be done in person or online through virtual therapy sessions. During an online therapy session, the therapist and client are in separate locations but still able to interact as if they were in the same room.

The therapist will guide the client through various activities such as recalling a traumatic event, creating a positive thought to replace any negative ones, and then engaging in eye movements or other forms of bilateral stimulation while focusing on both the negative thought and positive thought at the same time. This helps to create new neural pathways in the brain which can reduce symptoms related to trauma or distressing life events.

Online EMDR therapy is becoming a more common practice as it allows clients to access treatment from anywhere in the world. It’s important to find a licensed therapist, who specializes in online EMDR so they can provide you with quality care and ensure your safety during each session.

Where to Find EDMR Online

Virtual EMDR is an online therapy service that offers a unique take on Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy.

The online platform harnesses the same principles of bilateral stimulation, but instead of eye movements or tapping, users follow a circular video that simulates the same bilateral stimulation effect.

Users can choose from various packages depending on their needs, and there is online real-time support available.

Virtual EMDR offers a free 3-day trial as well, so you can see if their motto of ‘Making Mental Health care available to everyone who needs it – whenever and as often as you need it‘ holds.

You may also check out remotEMDR, another online EMDR service that offers a free trial.

EMDR is Broken down into Eight Sessions

EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, and it is a type of therapy used to help people who are struggling with mental health issues.

Additionally, EMDR is broken down into eight phases, each of which has its purpose in the overall treatment plan.

  1. The first phase is history taking and treatment planning, where the therapist will get to know the patient and create a plan for their treatment.
  2. The second phase is preparation, which involves teaching the patient how to use different techniques to cope with their emotions during the session.
  3. The third phase is assessment, where the therapist will assess the patient’s current state and determine what needs to be addressed.
  4. The fourth phase is desensitization, which involves helping the patient process traumatic memories safely.
  5. The fifth phase is installation, where positive thoughts or images are used to replace negative ones.
  6. The sixth phase is the body scan, where physical sensations related to trauma are identified and processed.
  7. The seventh phase is closure, which involves helping the patient transition out of the session safely.
  8. Finally, the eighth phase is reevaluation, where progress made during previous sessions can be evaluated and discussed.

Overall, EMDR therapy can be an effective tool for those struggling with mental health issues as it helps them safely process traumatic memories and learn coping strategies that can help them manage their emotions better.

Online EMDR Therapy Infographics

Pros and Cons of Online EMDR

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a type of therapy that helps people process traumatic memories.

It is often used to treat Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). In recent years, online EMDR has become increasingly popular as it allows clients to access therapy from anywhere with a secure internet connection.


  • One of the main benefits of online EMDR is that it gives clients more freedom and flexibility when it comes to accessing therapy.
  • This can be especially helpful for those who have difficulty leaving their homes or who live in remote areas with limited access to mental health services.
  • Additionally, online EMDR can be more cost-effective than traditional in-person sessions since there are no travel costs involved.


  • Online EMDR may not be suitable for everyone as some people may find it difficult to focus on the session without being in the same room as their therapist.
  • Additionally, there may be technical issues such as poor internet connection or audio/video quality which can make it difficult for the client and therapist to communicate effectively.
  • You may want to learn mindfulness skills before EMDR therapy to better prepare yourself. Headspace offers a free 2-week mindfulness meditation trial.
  • Finally, online EMDR may not be covered by health insurance plans so clients should check with their provider before signing up for sessions.

Overall, online EMDR can be a great option for those who want more flexibility and convenience when accessing therapy but it is important to consider both the pros and cons before deciding if this type of treatment is right for you.

What Are The Benefits Of EMDR Therapy?

EMDR Therapy is an effective form of psychotherapy that can help individuals of all ages heal from trauma.

It has been used for more than 25 years to treat PTSD and other mental health conditions and is backed up by the American Psychological Association (APA). The benefits of EMDR therapy include:

  1. Reprocessing traumatic memories in the brain
  2. Helping with depression, anxiety, nightmares, grief, divorce, bullying, abuse, and other life traumas
  3. Breaking the freeze cycle by allowing your brain to process memories in a less painful way
  4. More accessible memories and an active dream state
  5. Fast-tracking results
  6. Stimulating access to unconscious material

How to Find an Online EMDR Therapist

Finding an online EMDR therapist can be a great way to access the therapy you need from the comfort of your own home.

  • When searching for an online EMDR therapist, it is important to make sure they are properly qualified and experienced in providing this type of therapy.
  • You should also look for someone with specialized training who has experience working with people who have experienced similar traumas as yourself. It is also important to make sure that the therapist is licensed in your state or country if you are looking for an online provider, as this will help you obtain insurance coverage.
  • Once you have found a few potential therapists, it is important to do some research on their background and experience. You can read reviews from past clients or contact them directly to ask questions about their qualifications and approach to therapy.
  • It is also important to consider how comfortable you feel talking with the therapist. This will help ensure that you get the most out of your sessions and that your needs are being met.
  • Finally, it is important to remember that finding an online EMDR therapist does not mean that you have to give up traditional face-to-face therapy sessions altogether. Many therapists offer both online and in-person sessions so that you can choose which one works best for you.

Use ZocDoc to find an EMDR Provider Within Your Insurance Network

Zocdoc is a user-friendly platform that helps people find doctors, therapists, and other health professionals near them, based on location and insurance coverage.

This platform enables you to search for a variety of healthcare providers, including those offering EMDR therapy and trauma treatment, and filter your results by your insurance plan, location, and ratings.

To use Zocdoc to find an EMDR therapist or trauma specialist covered by your insurance nearby, simply specify the type of provider you are looking for, enter your location, and filter by insurance coverage.

Zocdoc will then provide you with a list of providers that match your search criteria, allowing you to easily book an appointment and receive the care you need.

List of Best EMDR Websites

Here are 10 great EMDR websites with links:

  1. 30 Best EMDR Blogs and Websites (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) – Feedspot’s list of the top 30 EMDR blogs and websites for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing.
  2. EMDR Blog – Posts by EMDR Therapy – Learn more about EMDR from EMDR therapy blog posts, an authority site in the educational EMDR.
  3. EMDR Healing: EMDR Blog For Both Patients And Practitioners – Read stories from patients who have used EMDR to heal from trauma, as well as advice for practitioners on how to use it in their practice.
  4. Focal Point Blog – Find articles, research, case studies, interviews, and other resources related to the use of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR).
  5. EMDR Therapy Blog – Read about the latest news in EMDR therapy training, workshops, consultancy, development, and coaching from Maiberger Institute’s blog posts.
  6. Go With That – Reflections on psychological trauma by an EMDR trauma therapist – Follow this blog written by an experienced EMDR trauma therapist to learn more about psychological trauma healing through personal reflections and artwork by the author herself!
  7. EMDR & Beyond Blog – Get the latest updates on specialty training, consultation, and education for the EMDR professional community from this blog!
  8. What is EMDR? | A Blog About Trauma Healing – Learn more about Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy with this blog post that covers what it is in short!
  9. EMDR Therapy Training Provider Blog – Get all the latest news on EMDR therapy training workshops, consultancy, development, and coaching from this provider’s blog!
  10. Harper’s Bazaar UK Article: “EMDR Therapy Finally Helped Me Process My Trauma” – Read Hannah Fox’s story on how she found relief through Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMD) therapy in this Harper’s Bazaar UK article!

How Much Does EMDR Therapy Cost?

Is EMDR Cost-Effective?

EMDR is cost-effective, generally speaking, when the client and therapist have a good connection, and they are addressing trauma-related issues.

How many Sessions of EMDR are needed?

EMDR, or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, is a type of psychotherapy that can help people who have experienced trauma. It involves the patient focusing on the traumatic memory while simultaneously experiencing bilateral stimulation.

The number of sessions needed depends on the individual’s needs and goals. Generally, 8-12 sessions are recommended for treating PTSD, but some people may require fewer or more sessions depending on their situation.

It is important to note that EMDR is not a “quick fix” and it takes time to work through the process.

Each session typically lasts between 60-90 minutes and it may take several weeks before you start to see results. Additionally, your therapist may recommend additional treatments such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and/or medication to help you manage your symptoms in addition to EMDR.

If you are considering EMDR therapy, it is essential to discuss with your therapist how many sessions they think you will need to achieve your desired outcome. Your therapist can also guide other treatments that might be beneficial for you as well as any potential risks associated with EMDR therapy, and talk about the differences between online therapy and in-person therapy.

Is EMDR Therapy Expensive?

EMDR therapy, or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing can also come at a cost, especially if out of pocket or for more severe forms of trauma.

Other articles on Online Mental Health Reviews go into greater detail about the benefits and drawbacks of EMDR, where to find a local EMDR therapist, the efficacy of online EMDR, the benefits of virtual EMDR therapy, the training that is required to become a certified EMDR clinician, the accessibility of Virtual EMDR.com, the possibility of EMDR insurance coverage, and the costs that are associated with EMDR therapy.

How Is Online EMDR Different From In-Person EMDR?

EMDR, or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, is a type of therapy that helps people process traumatic memories. In-person EMDR sessions involve the patient and therapist being in the same room together. During an online EMDR session, the patient and therapist are not physically in the same space.

The main difference between online therapy and in-person EMDR is that during an online session, the patient will be guided through the process by their therapist via video or audio chat.

The therapist will provide instructions on how to focus on traumatic memories while also engaging in bilateral stimulation such as eye movements, tapping, or sound.

Online EMDR can be just as effective as in-person sessions. It can be especially beneficial for those who have difficulty leaving their homes due to anxiety or other mental health issues.

Who Should Consider Another Treatment Plan Besides EMDR?

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a type of psychotherapy that is effective in treating mental health issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, it is not the only treatment option available.

If you are struggling with mental health issues, it is important to talk to your doctor or therapist about what treatment options are best for you. Depending on your individual needs, there may be other treatments that could be more effective than EMDR.

For example, if you have severe depression or anxiety, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) may be a better option. If you are dealing with addiction, 12-step programs or medication-assisted treatment may be more appropriate.

In addition to talking to your doctor or therapist about which treatment plan might work best for you, it can also help you to do some research on your own. Look into different types of therapy and read up on the pros and cons of each one. This will help you make an informed decision about which type of treatment is right for you.

No matter what type of treatment plan you choose, remember that recovery takes time and effort. It’s important to stay committed and consistent with whatever plan you decide on so that you can get the most out of it. Be sure to talk to friends and family about mental health as well.

EMDR Therapy Cost Conclusion: 

In conclusion, EMDR therapy is an effective way to treat psychological trauma by utilizing eye movements during talk therapy sessions with a trained professional therapist.

While there is still some uncertainty regarding how exactly this process works in regards to integrating memories associated with negative past events or thoughts, its effectiveness has been proven time and time again.

The cost of these treatments varies but should not prevent anyone from seeking help if needed; there are many ways available for obtaining financial assistance for mental health treatment if necessary.

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. For online, virtual self-EMDR, see our Virtual EMDR review.

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. C. (n.d.). EMDR Therapy: What It Is, Procedure & Effectiveness. Cleveland Clinic. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/treatments/22641-emdr-therapy

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