EMDR Future

Access a free EMDR Future Template for your practice. Learn how to use this worksheet and help clients visualize their future using EMDR therapy.

By Ericka Pingol on Apr 08, 2024.

Fact Checked by Nate Lacson.

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What is an EMDR Future template?

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a psychotherapy treatment initially designed to alleviate the distress associated with traumatic memories (Cleveland Clinic, n.d.). EMDR believes in the premise that past trauma can disrupt the brain's natural healing process, leading to psychological distress.

During an EMDR session, the therapist guides the patient in recalling the traumatic event while concurrently inducing bilateral sensory input, such as side-to-side eye movements. This process aids in reprocessing traumatic memories, ultimately alleviating distress and promoting adaptive beliefs about the self. EMDR has been extensively researched and found to be effective for treating a range of psychological issues, particularly post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD (American Psychological Association, 2017).

An EMDR Future Template is a worksheet used in the EMDR therapy process to help clients create positive beliefs and sensations while addressing past trauma. This tool is often used after the client has processed disturbing events and present triggers, allowing them to focus on strengthening their adaptive coping mechanisms.

The template helps individuals identify their target future state, including thoughts, feelings, and behaviors they want to experience. This process allows clients to visualize and work towards a desired outcome through EMDR therapy.

Printable EMDR Future Template

Download this EMDR Future Template to help clients visualize their future using EMDR therapy.

How does it work?

Carepatron's free EMDR Future Template lets your clients determine their target future state, evaluate positive cognition, and more. Here's how to utilize the template as part of your practice:

Step 1: Download the template

Obtain a copy of the template using the link on this page. It's also available from the Carepatron app or our therapy practice management tool's resources library.

Step 2: Explain how it works

Discuss the purpose and benefits of using the printable EMDR Future Template with your client. Explain that this tool will help them identify their desired future state and work towards it through EMDR therapy.

Step 3: Have your client fill out the template

Encourage your client to take their time and thoughtfully complete each template section. They can do this during your session or at home, whichever they prefer.

Step 4: Review and discuss the completed template

Once your client has filled out the template, review it together. Discuss any positive beliefs and sensations that stand out to them and any challenges or negative thoughts that may arise.

Step 5: Use the information in EMDR therapy

The completed EMDR Future Template can be a valuable guide during your sessions with the client. Utilize their identified target future state, positive beliefs, and sensations to inform your EMDR treatment plan and sessions.

Step 6: Track progress

As your client progresses through therapy using the template, note any changes or improvements in their desired future state, thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.

EMDR Future example (sample)

We've created a sample EMDR Future Template PDF to showcase how your client can complete it. You can use this as a reference when explaining the template to your clients. Feel free to view the sample here or download a PDF copy.

Download the free EMDR Future example:

EMDR Future example (sample)

When would you use this template?

You can use Carepatron's free EMDR Future Template during EMDR sessions or as a homework assignment for your clients. It can be especially beneficial for clients struggling with goal setting or visualizing their desired future state.

Here are other scenarios where the template may be of use:

As part of the initial assessment process in EMDR therapy

Our EMDR Future Template is a fantastic starting point for identifying a client's goals. It can provide valuable insights into their hopes, beliefs, and desires.

To help clients stay focused during EMDR therapy

Some clients may struggle with maintaining focus and motivation during EMDR sessions. The template can remind them of their desired future state, encouraging them to stay engaged.

As a tool for reflection and progress tracking

Completing the template at different points throughout therapy can help you and your client reflect on the progress and identify further growth areas. It can also serve as a visual representation of their progress, providing motivation and encouragement.

To empower clients and promote feelings of self-efficacy

The template can help clients take ownership of their therapy journey and feel empowered in creating their desired future state. It can also encourage self-efficacy as they see themselves progressing toward achieving their goals.

Benefits of EMDR therapy

Developed by Dr. Francine Shapiro, EMDR has been proven effective in treating various mental health disorders. Here are some of the key benefits of EMDR therapy:

Treating PTSD

EMDR therapy provides significant benefits in the treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), particularly in reducing the risk of cognitive decline and dementia associated with the condition (Sassi Andrade Vieira et al., 2017). It has been found to be as effective as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) in treating PTSD, with some studies showing even more significant improvements in symptoms (Khan et al, 2018).

Improving attachment issues

EMDR therapy also demonstrates promise in improving attachment status and alleviating symptoms stemming from relational trauma (Wesselmann et al., 2012). Integrative EMDR and family therapy models have shown positive outcomes in improving attachment status in individuals, especially children, affected by a history of relational trauma.

Enhancing body image

The approach, despite the absence of controlled studies, also holds promise in addressing specific aspects of negative body image in individuals with eating disorders when combined with standard residential treatment (Bloomgarden & Calogero, 2008).

In a randomized experimental design, the study revealed that participants undergoing standard residential treatment along with EMDR therapy reported reduced distress associated with negative body image memories and lower levels of body dissatisfaction during post-treatment, 3-month, and 12-month follow-ups, in comparison to those who only received SRT.


American Psychological Association. (2017). Clinical Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in Adults. Eye Movement Reprocessing. https://www.apa.org/ptsd-guideline/treatments/eye-movement-reprocessing

Bloomgarden, A., & Calogero, R. M. (2008). A randomized experimental test of the efficacy of EMDR treatment on negative body image in eating disorder inpatients. Eating Disorders, 16(5), 418-427. https://doi.org/10.1080/10640260802370598

Cleveland Clinic. (n.d). EMDR Therapy. Cleveland Clinic. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/treatments/22641-emdr-therapy

Khan, A. M., Dar, S., Ahmed, R., Bachu, R., Adnan, M., & Kotapati, V. P. (2018). Cognitive Behavioral Therapy versus Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing in Patients with Post-traumatic Stress Disorder: Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Randomized Clinical Trials. Cureus, 10(9), e3250. https://doi.org/10.7759/cureus.3250

Sassi Andrade Vieira, S., Di Giorgio, M., Cohen, E., Caurand, M., Manchon, A., Quaderi, A., & Palazzolo, J. (2017). Benefits of EMDR therapy on the memory in the treatment of PTSD. European Psychiatry, 41(S1), S359-S359. doi:10.1016/j.eurpsy.2017.02.353

Wesselmann, D., Davidson, M., Armstrong, S., Schweitzer, C., Bruckner, D., & Potter, A. E. (2012). EMDR as a treatment for improving attachment status in adults and children. European Review of Applied Psychology, 62(4), 223-230. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.erap.2012.08.008

When are EMDR Future Templates used?
When are EMDR Future Templates used?

Commonly asked questions

When are EMDR Future Templates used?

Therapists may use EMDR Future Templates for clients who have not yet experienced a traumatic event but are at risk due to their current life circumstances or symptoms. It can also be used as a preventative approach to help strengthen coping skills and resilience.

Are there any side effects from using EMDR?

EMDR is generally considered safe and does not have any known adverse side effects. However, some clients may experience temporary discomfort or heightened emotions during the session, but this is usually short-lived and part of the healing process.

Can I customize the EMDR Future Template?

Yes! Carepatron's EMDR Future Template is fully customizable, allowing therapists to tailor the template to their client's needs. This can include adding or removing elements and personalizing the wording for a more individualized approach.

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