man talking during therapy session

Who Can Benefit From EMDR Therapy?

Table of Contents

Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is a psychotherapy method that aims to help you address and recover from traumatic experiences. Through specific eye movements made while recalling these traumatic memories, EMDR can help you reconfigure the emotions surrounding these memories, aiding your brain’s ability to heal. EMDR is an effective psychotherapy technique for many people, but which groups can benefit the most from this process? We’ve put together some examples of patient groups that would experience advantages when undergoing EMDR therapy.

PTSD Patients

Since EMDR focuses so closely on trauma, PTSD patients can greatly benefit from this technique. Some common symptoms of PTSD include:

  • Avoidance
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Substance abuse
  • Experiencing nightmares or flashbacks

With EMDR, you can address the event or series of events that resulted in PTSD, working through these memories so you can find a new emotional response to them. Many PTSD sufferers may be apprehensive about revisiting these memories for fear of triggering their condition symptoms. During therapy, you’ll learn how to deal with any physical or mental symptoms that may arise during the process, teaching yourself how to find calm during upsetting moments.

OCD Patients

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) affects about 1.2% of Americans. Those with OCD experience intrusive thoughts such as harming themselves or others, unwanted sexual or aggressive thoughts, contamination fears, an increased emphasis on routine and order, and avoiding things that may upset the “order” their routine or obsessions perceivably bring. EMDR therapy can help OCD patients figure out the cause of their obsessive behaviors, which can often be attributed to trauma or a specific event in their past.

Eating Disorder Patients

8 million people across the country suffer from eating disorders, such as bulimia, anorexia, pica, or binge eating disorder. There is no one singular cause for eating disorders, but many cases can be linked to a traumatic situation an individual experiences. The eating disorder acts, which can include food restriction and purging, can often be a way for individuals to regain some semblance of control over their lives or their eating in general. EMDR therapy helps these individuals understand how they feel when binging, purging, or restricting their food intake, getting to the root of the situation to discover the best ways to handle their most prevalent triggers.

Addiction Patients

From a 2022 study conducted by the United States National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 46.8 million people ages 12 and older deal with substance abuse problems. Addiction can occur for a number of reasons. Individuals may have been introduced to the substance at a young age and developed a dependence on it. Or, in some cases, a person may have used a substance to deal with the pain of an injury and become addicted. For others, addiction is a result of past trauma, either to cope with the negative feelings associated with the trauma or to forget the trauma altogether. EMDR therapy can be helpful in this respect – it allows those suffering from substance abuse to find healthy coping habits outside of regular substance use.

Reach Out to Cristeta Rillera for EMDR Therapy Information

Want to learn more about the therapy process and to see if EMDR psychotherapy techniques are helpful for you? Cristeta Rillera is here to answer all of your questions. Reach out by phone today by calling (530) 302-6097 or by emailing [email protected].

person sitting during therapy session
Cristeta Rillera, LMFT


Book an appointment today!