What are the potential negative effects that come along with EMDR therapy?

by Rahul Y. Digital marketing strategist

It has been demonstrated that eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing therapy, or EMDR therapy, is an effective treatment for a variety of mental health disorders. On the other hand, just like any other treatment, EMDR therapy may come with a number of undesirable side effects.

Before beginning treatment, it is essential to have a conversation with your therapist about the possible adverse effects that may occur. The following is a list of potential dangers of EMDR therapy that you may experience either during or after the treatment.


During your EMDR therapy session, you might have fleeting moments in which you feel detached from the real world. In most cases, this is only a temporary condition that should not continue for more than a few minutes after the session has ended. Please let your therapist know if you experience dissociation that lasts longer than a few minutes or if it is accompanied by other symptoms such as amnesia so that they can adjust the treatment accordingly. If you experience dissociation that is accompanied by other symptoms such as amnesia, please let them know as well.

Intrusive ideas and musings

During EMDR therapy, it is not uncommon for patients to be plagued by intrusive thoughts or memories. Even though having these thoughts can be upsetting, they are typically an indication that the therapy is having the desired effect. Your therapist will assist you in processing these thoughts in a constructive manner so that you are no longer affected by them in a negative way.


During EMDR therapy, some patients may report feeling an increased level of anxiety. This is typically as a result of the fact that you are processing challenging memories or feelings at this time. Your therapist will assist you in managing your levels of anxiety and will provide you with tools to cope with any anxiety that may occur outside of your therapy sessions.


The signs and symptoms of depression can be made worse by EMDR therapy in some patients. In the event that this happens, your therapist will work with you to adjust the treatment so that it more effectively meets your requirements.


After EMDR therapy, it is not uncommon to experience feelings of exhaustion. Typically, this occurs as a result of the fact that you have been processing a significant amount of information and feelings throughout the course of the session. After completing EMDR therapy, it is essential to get plenty of rest and to refrain from driving or operating heavy machinery until you have reached a state of complete relaxation.


Following EMDR treatment, some patients may report experiencing headaches. These headaches are typically not severe and vanish on their own after a short period of time. If you do, however, experience severe or persistent headaches, it is imperative that you communicate this to your therapist as soon as possible so that they can adjust the treatment accordingly.


Some people, though not very often, report feeling sick after receiving EMDR treatment. In the event that this happens, it is imperative that you communicate it to your therapist so that they can adjust the treatment accordingly.

Visual disturbances

After EMDR therapy, some individuals may, although this is extremely rare, experience visual disturbances. Alterations in vision or flashing lights are two examples of these symptoms. Please let your therapist know if you experience any visual disturbances so that they can adjust the treatment accordingly if necessary.

It is essential to keep in mind that these negative effects typically only last for a short period of time and should not continue for more than a few minutes after the treatment session. If you experience any side effects that are severe or continue for an extended period of time, it is imperative that you communicate this information to your therapist so that they can adjust the treatment accordingly.

How to reduce the risks that are associated with EMDR therapy

The risks associated with EMDR therapy can be mitigated in a few different ways. However, we are only going to discuss a select few that have been proven successful and are relied upon by millions of clients all over the world.

       One method is to ensure that you are well-prepared before beginning the treatment, as this is the first step in the process. This indicates that you should have a clear understanding of the benefits and drawbacks associated with EMDR therapy, as well as the process that will take place during your therapy sessions. In addition to this, you should make sure to ask any questions that you have concerning the treatment.

       Working with a therapist who is both qualified and experienced is yet another way to lessen the potential risks associated with EMDR therapy.

       Finally, it is important to be honest with your therapist about any concerns or fears that you have about EMDR therapy. This ensures that your therapist is familiar with the risks and benefits of EMDR therapy, and they can help you navigate any potential dangers. You can help to ensure that your therapist is aware of any potential risks by doing this, and they will then be able to collaborate with you to find ways to minimise those risks.

In a nutshell, should you choose EMDR therapy or steer clear of it?

EMDR therapy is an effective treatment for many people who are struggling with the effects of trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, this is not the only option that can be pursued, and there are other forms of therapy that, depending on the requirements of the patient, may be a better fit. When deciding whether or not EMDR therapy is right for you, some factors to consider include the following:

       The severity of your symptoms

       Your willingness to participate in a highly structured treatment protocol

       Your capacity to tolerate intense emotions while you are going through the EMDR processing sessions

If you are unsure about whether or not EMDR therapy is the right treatment for you, it is important to speak with a qualified mental health professional who can assist you in evaluating your particular requirements and determining the most appropriate course of action for your therapy.

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About Rahul Y. Innovator   Digital marketing strategist

25 connections, 0 recommendations, 76 honor points.
Joined APSense since, July 3rd, 2020, From Delhi, India.

Created on Oct 17th 2022 11:58. Viewed 192 times.


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