EMDR Protocol

Unlock the potential of EMDR protocols with a user-friendly and secure app. Enhance trauma therapy outcomes through structured, effective treatment.

By Joshua Napilay on May 15, 2024.

Fact Checked by Ericka Pingol.

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What is an EMDR Protocol?

An EMDR Protocol is a key tool for practitioners using Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy to help clients overcome traumatic experiences and emotional distress. As a practitioner, understanding and implementing the EMDR protocol can significantly enhance your ability to guide your clients through healing.

The protocol consists of eight phases: history taking, preparation, assessment, desensitization, installation, body scan, closure, and reevaluation. Each phase has its purpose and contributes to the overall success of the therapy.

In the history-taking phase, you gather detailed information about your client's past to identify potential targets for EMDR processing. The preparation phase involves creating a safe therapeutic environment and equipping your clients with coping mechanisms, which will be crucial throughout their journey.

In the assessment phase, you pinpoint the specific memories to be targeted, along with the associated emotions and beliefs. During desensitization, your client focuses on disturbing memory while receiving bilateral stimulation. This process continues until the memory is no longer distressing.

In the installation phase, positive beliefs are reinforced, helping your client replace negative cognitions. The body scan phase allows you to identify any residual physical tension, ensuring complete traumatic memory processing. Closure ensures your client leaves each session feeling better than or as good as at the beginning, while reevaluation checks progress and helps plan the next steps.

For a more elaborated explanation of the EMDR protocol, consider watching this explainer video with your clients. You can also find more resources and tools related to EMDR Protocols to support your practice and enhance your clients' therapeutic experience.

Feel free to have a look at this video if you're interested in accessing an EMDR treatment plan:

Printable EMDR Protocol

Download this EMDR Protocol to enhance trauma therapy outcomes.

How does it work?

EMDR therapy aids clients in processing traumatic memories and replacing negative beliefs with positive ones. Here's a brief overview:

  1. History Taking: The therapist gathers information about the client's past to identify potential targets for EMDR.
  2. Preparation: A safe therapeutic environment is created, and the client is equipped with coping mechanisms.
  3. Assessment: Specific memories and associated emotions and beliefs are identified for targeting.
  4. Desensitization: The client focuses on the disturbing memory while receiving bilateral stimulation until the memory is no longer distressing.
  5. Installation: Positive beliefs are reinforced, replacing negative cognitions.
  6. Body Scan: Any residual physical tension related to the memory is checked.
  7. Closure: Ensures the client leaves each session feeling at least as good as at the beginning.
  8. Reevaluation: Progress made is checked, and the next steps are planned.

Steps Involved in Using/Filling the Printable EMDR Protocols

Download and Print the Protocol

Download the printable EMDR protocols and print them out for use during sessions.

Identify Client History

Use the protocol to guide your history-taking. Record details about the client's past and potential targets for EMDR processing.

Prepare the Client

Write down the coping mechanisms you've taught the client and note their understanding of the EMDR process.

Assess Traumatic Memories

Identify and record specific memories, emotions, and beliefs to be targeted.

Track Desensitization Progress

Use the protocol to track the client's progress during the desensitization phase.

Record Installation of Positive Beliefs

Note down the positive beliefs that have been installed to replace negative cognitions.

Conduct Body Scan

Record any findings from the body scan phase.

Ensure Closure

Use the protocol to ensure that closure has been achieved at the end of each session.

Plan for Reevaluation

Note down observations and plans for the next steps in the reevaluation phase.

EMDR Protocols Example (sample)

An EMDR Protocol begins with a history-taking phase, where therapists identify trauma targets. The preparation phase establishes a safe space and introduces coping mechanisms. During the assessment phase, specific traumatic memories and associated emotions are identified for therapy.

The protocol then guides through desensitization, installation, body scan, closure, and reevaluation phases, structuring the therapy process.

An EMDR Protocols PDF is vital for practitioners, ensuring comprehensive coverage of each phase for effective treatment. Download our EMDR Protocols PDF to enhance your practice and support your clients' healing journey.

Download this EMDR Protocol Example:

EMDR Protocols Example (sample)

When would you use this Template?

The EMDR Protocol template is an indispensable resource for therapists, especially those working with clients who have experienced traumatic events. Its structured approach and comprehensive coverage of all phases of EMDR therapy make it an invaluable tool in various scenarios.

  1. Working with Trauma Clients: The EMDR Protocol is primarily designed for use with clients dealing with distressing memories and emotions resulting from traumatic experiences. It has been proven effective in treating various trauma-related conditions, including Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), anxiety disorders, and depression. The protocol guides the therapist through helping clients reprocess traumatic memories in a safe and controlled environment.
  2. During Initial Stages of Therapy: At the outset of therapy, the EMDR Protocol template offers a structured approach to gathering crucial information about the client's history. This helps identify potential targets for EMDR processing. By using the template, therapists can ensure they take advantage of essential details that could influence the course of treatment.
  3. Preparation Phase: The template proves beneficial during the preparation phase of therapy. It serves as a guide for establishing a safe therapeutic environment and equipping clients with coping mechanisms they may need. This foundational work is critical to the success of EMDR therapy.
  4. Guidance Through Therapy Phases: The EMDR Protocol acts as a roadmap during the various stages of therapy - assessment, desensitization, installation, body scan, closure, and reevaluation. By following the protocol, therapists can ensure they cover each phase comprehensively, enhancing the effectiveness of the therapy.
  5. Tracking Progress Over Time: The EMDR Protocol template is instrumental in monitoring therapy progress. It allows therapists to track changes in the client's responses to targeted memories over time, providing valuable insights into the effectiveness of the therapy and aiding in future planning.


Structured Approach

The Free EMDR Protocol template provides a structured approach to therapy. It ensures that all crucial stages of EMDR, from history taking to reevaluation, are covered systematically.

Enhanced Preparation

The template guides therapists in establishing a safe therapeutic environment and equipping clients with necessary coping mechanisms, setting the stage for successful therapy.

Effective Therapy Phases

With the EMDR Protocol acting as a roadmap, each phase of therapy - assessment, desensitization, installation, body scan, closure, and reevaluation - is carried out effectively and comprehensively.

Tracking Progress

The template allows for easy tracking of progress over time. Changes in the client's responses to targeted memories can be monitored, providing insights into the effectiveness of therapy.

Resource Saving

Using the Free EMDR Protocol template saves valuable time and resources, providing a ready-to-use guide that ensures an efficient and effective therapeutic process.

Enhanced Client Experience

The structured and systematic approach facilitated by the template can improve the client experience, ensuring a smooth and comprehensive therapeutic journey.

Why use Carepatron as your EMDR Protocol app?

Carepatron has emerged as a premier choice for an EMDR Protocol app, offering a distinctive combination of features specifically designed to meet the needs of mental health professionals. Here are the key reasons why Carepatron is the ideal platform to carry out EMDR therapy:

  1. User-Friendly Interface: Carepatron's EMDR Protocol Software is thoughtfully designed with an intuitive interface that even those with basic tech skills can easily navigate. This allows therapists to direct their focus toward their clients, eliminating the need to struggle with complex technology. The platform's straightforward layout and easy-to-use tools make the process of managing therapy sessions hassle-free.
  2. Structured Approach: Offering a meticulously organized structure, Carepatron guides therapists through each phase of the EMDR process - from the initial history taking to the final reevaluation. This systematic approach assures a comprehensive and effective therapeutic process, optimizing client outcomes. With step-by-step guidance through each stage of the EMDR protocol, the platform ensures that no critical aspect of the therapy is overlooked.
  3. Seamless Tracking of Client Progress: With Carepatron, therapists can effortlessly record and monitor changes in clients' responses to targeted memories over time. This valuable feature provides real-time insights into the effectiveness of the therapy, facilitating informed decision-making based on actual progress.
  4. Robust Security Measures: With a firm commitment to data security, Carepatron, as an EMDR Protocol Software, upholds stringent privacy standards. Its robust security measures ensure the confidentiality and protection of all client information. This provides peace of mind to therapists and clients, knowing their data is safe.
  5. Top-Notch Support: Dedicated to providing excellent customer support, Carepatron ensures a smooth user experience for therapists using their EMDR Protocol app. Should any issues arise during its use, the Carepatron team is ready to provide prompt and practical assistance, demonstrating their unwavering commitment to customer satisfaction.
Therapy Software


  1. Barr, N., & PsyD, S. R. (2023, June 20). What Is EMDR Therapy, and Can It Really Help You Process Trauma? SELF. https://www.self.com/story/what-is-emdr-therapy
  2. EMDR International Association. (2022, December 5). EMDR Therapy Protocols for Early Intervention and Ongoing Traumatic Stress - EMDR International Association. https://www.emdria.org/event/emdr-therapy-protocols-for-early-intervention-and-ongoing-traumatic-stress-april-2023/
  3. EMDR International Association. (2023, January 20). EMDR + IFS PARTS Protocol: An IFS-Informed Approach to EMDR - EMDR International Association. https://www.emdria.org/event/emdr-ifs-parts-protocol-an-ifs-informed-approach-to-emdr-may-2023/
  4. Endhoven, B., De Cort, K., Matthijssen, S. J. M. A., De Jongh, A., Van Minnen, A., Duits, P., Schruers, K. R. J., Van Dis, E. a. M., Krypotos, A. M., Gerritsen, L., & Engelhard, I. M. (2023). Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy or supportive counseling prior to exposure therapy in patients with panic disorder: study protocol for a multicenter randomized controlled trial (IMPROVE). BMC Psychiatry, 23(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12888-022-04320-4
  5. Hase, M. (2021). The Structure of EMDR Therapy: A Guide for the Therapist. Frontiers in Psychology, 12. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.660753
  6. Jadanova, A. (2001, January 6). EMDR Therapy Basic Training - Early Winter 2023 | The Center for Excellence in EMDR Therapy. https://emdrtherapy.com/emdr-trainings/basic-emdr-training/emdr-therapy-basic-training-early-winter-2023
  7. Lcsw, K. C. D. (2023). Your Ultimate EMDR Guide (Incl. Techniques & Exercises). PositivePsychology.com. https://positivepsychology.com/emdr-therapy/
Who uses the EMDR Protocol?
Who uses the EMDR Protocol?

Commonly asked questions

Who uses the EMDR Protocol?

The EMDR Protocol is used by trained mental health professionals, including psychologists, psychotherapists, and counselors, to help clients process traumatic memories and reduce psychological distress.

When do you use the EMDR Protocol?

The EMDR Protocol is typically used when treating individuals who have experienced traumatic events and are suffering from PTSD, anxiety, depression, and other trauma-related disorders.

How is the EMDR Protocol used?

The EMDR Protocol is used in a structured eight-phase approach, including history taking, preparation, assessment, desensitization, installation, body scan, closure, and reevaluation. It involves bilateral stimulation, such as eye movements, taps, or tones, while the client focuses on traumatic memories.

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