ONLINE EMDR THERAPY

The Age of Online Service Delivery

Some people feel apprehensive about doing therapy online, which is completely understandable. The idea of talking to a therapist through a screen may feel strange or disconnected, given there isn’t the same physical presence and proximity as sitting face-to-face with a therapist.

Whether you are a client who was already familiar with EMDR Therapy and has now needed to adapt to having your EMDR sessions online, or you are a new client interested in what EMDR Therapy has to offer, rest assured that we are all figuring this out together! Many therapists have found that the transition to online service delivery has taken a bit of getting used to. COVID-19 has required all of us to adapt our lives in many ways. Since the start of the pandemic, we have engaged in more online activities than ever before, whether it be work meetings, social catch ups, Friday night drinks or medical telehealth appointments. No doubt, many of us can relate to the phrase “I’m zoomed-out!”

Online therapy has become an essential tool for medical and mental health care providers. At times throughout the pandemic, it has been the only way that vital services could be delivered to the community. Without the use of technology, many people would have experienced an interruption to their treatment or had to postpone commencing treatment. For many people, virtual appointments have become the ‘new normal’. But when it comes to EMDR Therapy, how well does it work online? 

Is Online EMDR Therapy Effective?

Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, EMDR Therapy is now routinely delivered online by mental health professionals all over the world. The EMDR International Association has developed guidelines to provide EMDR therapists with support to offer EMDR Therapy in a safe and effective way.

While EMDR is not a new therapy, telehealth is a relatively new way to deliver EMDR Therapy. It is important to note that the research into its effectiveness is ongoing. However, research into online therapy in general has been studied and found to be highly effective (Barack et. al, 2007).

Anecdotally, many clients have reported positive experiences of online EMDR Therapy. With a few minor adjustments and clever use of technology, it can be easily delivered online. It is no different to face-to-face EMDR Therapy, except that some small modifications are made with regard to how the bilateral stimulation (for example, eye movements) is carried out. Many therapists choose to use an online platform that involves the client following a ball moving across a screen and listening to alternating sounds in headphones. If a computer software doesn’t suit a particular client for any reason, there are also other option available that work just as well. The most important thing is that the treatment is tailored to meet a client’s individual needs. 

Some Benefits of Online EMDR Therapy

  • Attend sessions from the comfort and convenience of your own home
  • Save on travel time and costs
  • You can still engage in sessions even if you are required to stay at home due to COVID-19 restrictions
  • Medicare rebates apply for online EMDR Therapy sessions for clients who have a valid Mental Health Treatment Plan (GP referral)

Basic Requirements for Online EMDR Therapy 

  1. A reliable and stable internet connection
  2. A desktop computer, laptop, iPad or other tablet
  3. Headphones and an in-built camera or webcam on your device
  4. A private, safe and uninterrupted space where you feel able to speak freely with minimal distractions
  5. A phone next to you during the session so that your therapist can easily contact you if there are technological issues with the internet connection or online platform
  6. Water and tissues nearby during your session
  7. Prior to commencing online EMDR therapy, your therapist will work with you to ensure that you are sufficiently safe and ready to engage in trauma processing work, and that you have some self-soothing skills to manage emotional distress.

All of our therapists at Mindful Living are trained and experienced in EMDR Therapy.

Call us on 1300 844 255 or email us at info@mindfulliving.com.au if you would discuss how EMDR might be able to assist you or someone in your life.