Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a psychotherapeutic treatment that has steadily gained popularity in recent years and for good reason. EMDR has proven to be especially hepful for treating issues such as:

  • Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Anxiety and panic disorders
  • Mood disorders
  • Phobias

One of the strengths (and appeals) that our Atlanta EMDR counselors notice, is that it does not rely as heavily on talking about distressing thoughts, feelings or behaviors as other approaches do. Rather, using specific techniques, EMDR works by helping the brain use its natural healing process to resolve traumatic memories and other distressing issues.

Because EMDR is a specialized technique, not every mental health clinician will provide this type of therapy. Being an Atlanta EMDR counselor requires specific training and skill. If you’re looking for an EMDR therapist, check out these tips:

Training Matters

Having a license to practice mental health counseling and being trained in EMDR are not the same thing. A license allows someone to practice mental healthcare in their state. It does not represent a training specialty. EMDR requires very specific training in the use of this treatment. Some licensed therapists are formally trained in EMDR. The important piece here is that they have formal training and experience in providing EMDR. When considering a clinician, ask specifically about their formal training in EMDR.

Experience Matters

Along with training, it’s important to find an EMDR therapist who has experience providing this type of therapy for your type of issue. As with any clinician, there are things they specialize in or have more experience with, and issues they treat less often. It’s important to know what your therapist’s skills are before starting. Whoever you choose, having confidence in their ability to help you plays a huge part in your treatment success and satisfaction.  Even though it might feel uncomfortable, ask about experience.

Finding A Therapist

Before you start your search, take a moment to think about the kind of Atlanta EMDR therapist you might most comfortable with:

  • Does gender matter?
  • How about location and time availability?
  • Do you prefer a younger or more mature therapist?
  • Do you have a cultural preference or language need?

Think about the things that would matter most to you. Once you have an idea of what might be a good fit, it’s time to start your search. 

One of the easiest places to start is the internet. Search “EMDR therapists in Atlanta” and you will probably find several therapists in your area. There are also a number of reputable online “Find A Therapist” directories where you can view online profiles and learn more about the therapist. You can also ask friends and family, if you feel comfortable.

Make Your Appointment

The first appointment is a time for you to get to know your EMDR therapist and them to get to know you. It’s ok to ask questions. Expect to be asked a lot of questions too. It’s normal to be a little nervous, but how do you know it’s a good “fit”?  

A good fit means that you are connecting and creating that all-important therapeutic alliance so essential to reaching your treatment goals.

•           You feel able to open up without fear of judgment

•           You feel validated and understood

•           You feel as if the EMDR therapist understands what you’re experiencing

•           You feel motivated to attend and participate in your sessions

Taking the time to find your fit is worth the effort. If you’re needing an Atlanta EMDR therapist, know that you are welcome to reach out.