An overview of EMDR therapy
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is a psychotherapeutic approach that aids individuals in processing and resolving traumatic experiences. Developed by psychologist Francine Shapiro in the late 1980s, it has since become a widely utilized method for trauma treatment.
In clinical practice, an EMDR therapist follows a specific protocol consisting of eight phases to implement EMDR therapy. These phases serve as a guide for both therapist and client throughout the entire treatment process. They include (American Psychological Association, n.d.-a):
- History and treatment planning
- Body scan
Each phase holds a distinct purpose and may involve various techniques or interventions, such as eye movements, tapping, or auditory tones. Collaboratively, the therapist and client identify the targeted traumatic event(s) for treatment and establish a safe and supportive environment for processing.
Research has shown that EMDR therapy is effective in treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other trauma-related conditions (Shapiro, 2014; Gainer et al., 2020). For instance, several studies have reported EMDR therapy to be more rapid and more effective than trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy.
The therapy is based on the Adaptive Information Processing model, which considers symptoms of PTSD and other disorders. EMDR therapy differs from other trauma-focused treatments in that it does not include extended detailed descriptions of the trauma, challenging dysfunctional beliefs, or homework assignments (American Psychological Association, n.d.-b).
What is an EMDR Script?
An EMDR script serves as a helpful guide for you to navigate the eight phases of treatment. It includes prompts, instructions, and specific language to ensure comprehensive coverage of the treatment process and adherence to the appropriate protocol.
While an EMDR session may appear spontaneous and flexible, having a script instills a sense of safety and predictability and reduces client anxiety. Moreover, it allows you to customize the language and prompts to address each client's unique needs and preferences.
EMDR scripts come in many forms and employ cognitive interweaves, breathing, or bridging techniques. You may also incorporate modifications based on the client's age, cultural background, and readiness to engage in specific interventions.
Using Carepatron's EMDR Script template
Carepatron has created a simple EMDR Script focusing on the breathing technique, an essential component of the third phase in EMDR treatment. This script is fully digital and easy to use. Follow these steps to get started:
Step 1: Download the script
Access the free EMDR Script template using the link on this page. You may also get a copy from our resources library or the Carepatron app.
Step 2: Print or use the digital format
Give your client the option to follow along with a printed script or use the digital format on a tablet, laptop, or other device.
Step 3: Utilize the script during sessions
Refer to the script as a guide during your EMDR treatment sessions. Personalize it according to your client's needs and preferences.
Step 4: Make revisions when necessary
As each client progresses through treatment, their needs may change. Don't hesitate to make revisions or add new prompts to the script for a more tailored experience.
EMDR Script example (sample)
Our team has created a sample EMDR Script to illustrate how to use and customize the template for your clients. You can use this example as a starting point and modify it to fit the needs of your specific clients. View the sample below or download a PDF copy for reference.
When to use an EMDR Script?
Here are various scenarios when you may consider using an EMDR Script as an EMDR therapist:
For new clients or those with unfamiliar presenting issues
You can use an EMDR script when working with new clients or unfamiliar presenting issues or traumatic events. It provides structure and guidance, especially for therapists who may not have extensive experience in treating certain types of trauma.
Addressing distractions or interruptions
EMDR scripts can be helpful when distractions or interruptions occur during a session. You can refer to the script to stay on track and ensure all necessary steps are covered.
With clients who struggle with emotional regulation
You may also use an EMDR script for clients who work with emotional regulation. You can incorporate grounding exercises and breathing techniques to help them stay present and manage any overwhelming emotions that may arise during the session.
When creating a "safe place" visualization
EMDR scripts can help create a "safe place" visualization. This technique is used in the early stages of EMDR treatment to help your clients establish a safe and peaceful mental space where they can feel secure and comfortable during the processing phase.
For complex trauma cases
For complex trauma cases, you may use an EMDR script as an aid to ensure all necessary targets and aspects of the traumatic event are addressed. The script can also provide structure for processing multiple memories or layers of trauma.
Why use Carepatron as your therapy software?
Carepatron is an all-in-one therapy software that offers a comprehensive and integrated solution for EMDR therapists. Here are some reasons why you should consider using Carepatron in your practice:
- Easy-to-use platform: Carepatron is user-friendly and intuitive, making it easy for therapists to navigate and use.
- Customizable templates: Our EMDR templates can be tailored to suit your specific needs and preferences.
- Secure and confidential: Carepatron is HIPAA-compliant, ensuring the protection and confidentiality of your client's information.
- Integrated features: With Carepatron, you can access a range of features such as scheduling, billing, telehealth, and more in one platform.
- Seamless collaboration: Our platform allows for easy collaboration between therapists, clients, and other healthcare professionals involved in the treatment process.
Experience the benefits of using Carepatron in your EMDR practice today. Sign up for our and see how our platform can streamline your therapy sessions and improve client outcomes.
Join the growing community of therapists who have chosen Carepatron as their trusted therapy software.
American Psychological Association. (n.d.). Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy. https://www.apa.org/ptsd-guideline/treatments/eye-movement-reprocessing
American Psychological Association. (n.d.). EMDR Phases: Overview of the 8 Phases of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). https://www.apa.org/topics/psychotherapy/emdr-phases
Gainer, D., Alam, S., Alam, H., & Redding, H. (2020). A FLASH OF HOPE: Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy. Innovations in Clinical Neuroscience, 17(7-9), 12-20. PMID: 33520399; PMCID: PMC7839656.
Shapiro, F. (2014). The role of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy in medicine: addressing the psychological and physical symptoms stemming from adverse life experiences. The Permanente Journal, 18(1), 71-77. https://doi.org/10.7812/TPP/13-098