This therapeutic technique involves moving your eyes a certain way while you process traumatic memories.

EMDR can help you with a wide range of mental health conditions including:

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PSTD)
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Personality disorders

Our Approach

We consider each client’s individual concerns and experiences and work to tailor treatments to your particular needs and therapeutic goals.

Person-centred Care

You are unique—your care should be too. We work with you to create a personal treatment plan.

Patient Education

We empower you to better understand your symptoms and care so you can make informed choices.

Evidence-based Care

We apply current, reliable research and evidence to inform our clinical approach.


Our team is our biggest asset. We work together across disciplines to offer you the best care.

Learn More

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing directly affect the way your brain processes information. After experiencing a trauma, the brain can become disorganized or stuck. EMDR uses eye movement to reset the nervous system and create connections in the brain to reprocess traumatic events into less distressing memories.

Francine Shapiro, Ph.D. developed EMDR based on her theory about how your brain stores memories. Her theory is called the Adaptive Information Processing model. It states that your brain stores regular memories and traumatic memories differently.

Your brain stores and connects memories to other memories efficiently during regular life events. But when you have a disturbing or unsettling life event, your brain doesn’t store memories or connect them correctly. This lack of connection can mean your experiences and your memories are detached, or that the way a trauma memory is stored doesn’t allow for healing.

Additionally, new events can connect to past traumatic events which makes your mind more sensitive to things you may have experienced (smells, sounds, tastes, touch and sights) during a traumatic event.

Sensations (smells, sounds, tastes, touch, sights) that are similar to a traumatic experience can trigger your incorrectly stored memories. This can create serious feelings like anxiety, fear, panic or anger.

EMDR helps you to access memories from traumatic events in a particular way using eye movements and guided instructions. This process allows you to reprocess your traumatic memories and helps heal mental and emotional injuries.

EMDR can help you if you have:

  • traumatic memories & PTSD
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • grief
  • chronic pain
  • panic attacks
  • guilt
  • anger
  • abuse
  • phobias
  • performance anxiety
  • eating disorders & poor body image
  • high stress
  • self-esteem

Initial and follow-up appointments: About 80 minutes

Eight phases of EMDR therapy

PhaseYour counsellor will:
Information gatheringListen to your experiences, the history of your trauma and how it is affecting your life so they can decide if EMDR may help
PreparationTell you what to expect and discuss strategies to help manage your emotions during an EMDR session
AssessmentHelp you determine specific memories or themes to focus on as well as negative beliefs about how you have felt and positive beliefs about how you would like to feel in the future
Desensitization and reprocessing  Engage your memory and help you pinpoint specific negative feelings, sensations, images and thoughts while drawing your attention to any new thoughts or ideas you experience
Installation  Help you focus on the positive belief you want to establish while you process a memory
Body scanGuide you to focus on what you feel when you think about or experience the negative memory. This phase helps determine your progress—your symptoms should decrease as you have EMDR sessions until you have none or next to none. When this happens, your reprocessing is complete
Closure and stabilizationTalk to you about what to expect between EMDR sessions and share techniques for self-stabilizing if you have negative thoughts or feelings in between sessions
Re-evaluation and ongoing careReview your progress, your current state, discuss your goals and  determine whether more therapy is necessary. See the Body scan phase

Our Practitioners

We take an empathetic approach to your care and always provide the most up-to-date information and resources. We want to help you on your journey to recovery.

Not sure where to start? Call 250-475-1522, ext 2. and our patient care coordinators will help.

Contact Us

We’re located in Vic West, a historic neighbourhood just across the harbour from downtown Victoria, B.C. Our two locations are only 300m apart. Each offers its own set of disciplines for health and wellness. We want to get to know you.

reach out!