EMDR What Are the Cost (3 Things to Do Before Starting)

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a type of therapy that is used to help individuals who have experienced traumatic events, such as abuse or combat. The cost of EMDR therapy can vary depending on several factors, including where you live and the therapist’s qualifications and experience.

EMDR therapy typically requires several sessions, so the total cost can add up quickly. However, the benefits of EMDR therapy can be significant, and many people find that it’s worth the investment in order to deal with the lingering effects of trauma. In this article, we look at the cost associated with EMDR and three things you should do before starting. 

EMDR Cost Breakdown 

EMDR therapy can be costly, and it’s important to find out if your insurance will cover the cost of therapy. The cost of EMDR therapy can vary depending on several factors:

  • Location: The cost of living in a particular area can impact the cost of EMDR therapy. Generally, therapy costs more in urban areas than in rural areas.
  • Therapist’s qualifications: The therapist’s qualifications and experience can also affect the cost of EMDR therapy. Therapists with specialized training and certifications in EMDR may charge more than those without such training.
  • Insurance coverage: Insurance coverage for EMDR therapy can vary widely. Some insurance companies will cover all or part of the cost of EMDR, while others may not cover it at all. It’s worth checking with your insurance company to see what your coverage is and what your copay or deductible will be.
  • Type of practice: EMDR therapy can be provided in various settings, including private practices, clinics, and hospitals. The cost of EMDR therapy can vary depending on the type of practice. For example, EMDR therapy provided in a hospital may cost more than EMDR therapy provided in private practice.
  • Length of the therapy: EMDR therapy typically requires several sessions, and the total cost can add up quickly. However, the length of therapy can vary depending on the individual’s needs, so the number of sessions required and the overall cost will depend on the case. 

If your insurance doesn’t cover EMDR, or if you don’t have insurance, you may be able to negotiate a sliding scale fee with your therapist or find a therapist who offers a low-cost or pro bono service. It’s also important to make sure you understand how many sessions you’ll need to make a plan in regard to budgeting.

3 Things You Should Know Before Starting EMDR

EMDR can be a powerful tool for healing, but it’s not a quick fix. It can take time for the therapy to be effective, and it’s important to be consistent and patient in your sessions. Here is a summary of some key things to consider before starting EMDR therapy:

Virtual EMDR

Virtual EMDR, also known as telehealth EMDR, is a form of therapy where clients and therapists connect remotely, typically through video conferencing software. It is important to note that virtual EMDR should be conducted by a therapist who is trained and certified in EMDR and has experience conducting therapy remotely. 

However, there are some considerations when conducting virtual EMDR. Since the therapist is not in the same room as the client, it might be harder to conduct some eye movement techniques that involve being in the same room and being able to see the client’s eyes. Some other considerations include the following:

  • Make sure you have a good internet connection and technology that allows for a clear audio and visual connection
  • Having a private and quiet space where you will not be interrupted during the session
  • Having a plan in case of technical issues during the session.

Make sure you understand if the therapist provides virtual therapy and the modality used. If you have any technical issues, ask your therapist in advance to avoid disruptions during the session.

Understanding the Therapeutic Process of EMDR

The therapy is based on the idea that traumatic memories are not fully processed and can become “stuck” in the brain, leading to symptoms such as flashbacks, nightmares, and avoidance behaviors. The goal of EMDR therapy is to help the individual process these memories and incorporate them into their overall life story in a healthy way. The EMDR therapy process typically consists of 8 phases:

  • History taking: The therapist will gather information about the individual’s past experiences, symptoms, and goals for therapy.
  • Preparation: The therapist will help the individual develop coping skills and strategies to deal with the distress that may occur during the therapy sessions.
  • Assessment: The therapist will identify the specific traumatic memory or memories that will be the focus of therapy.
  • Desensitization: The therapist will guide the individual through a process called “dual attention,” in which they will focus on the traumatic memory while performing a specific type of eye movement, such as following a moving light or listening to alternating sounds.
  • Installation: The therapist will work with the individual to help them develop positive thoughts and emotions about themselves and the traumatic event.
  • Body scan: The therapist will help the individual identify and process any physical sensations that may be connected to the traumatic memory.
  • Closure: The therapist will help the individual develop coping skills and strategies to deal with any distress that may occur after the therapy session.
  • Re-evaluation: The therapist will re-evaluate the individual’s symptoms and therapy progress and adjust the treatment plan as necessary.

Remember, each individual’s experience with EMDR therapy will be unique, and the number of sessions needed can vary. It’s also important to understand that the therapy may evoke strong emotions and physical sensations, but this is a normal part of the therapeutic process. 

Prepare To Talk About Your Trauma

Preparing to talk about your trauma is an important step in EMDR therapy. Trauma can be a difficult and emotional topic to discuss, so it’s important to be prepared both emotionally and mentally. Here are a few things you can do to help prepare for talking about your trauma in EMDR therapy:

  • Reflect on your readiness: Take some time to reflect on your readiness to talk about your trauma. It’s important to be honest with yourself and your therapist about your readiness to begin the process.
  • Identify your support system: It’s important to have a support system in place before and after discussing your trauma. This can include friends, family, or other therapists or support groups. 
  • Identify triggers: Trauma can be triggered by various things, such as smells, sounds, or certain places. Identify what your triggers are and have a plan in place to cope with them should they arise during or after therapy.


While the cost of EMDR therapy can be a significant barrier for some individuals, it’s important to remember that the therapy can be a powerful tool for healing and can significantly improve the quality of life for individuals who have experienced traumatic events. If cost is a concern, it’s worth exploring all options, such as sliding scale fees, low-cost counseling centers, or online resources, before deciding on therapy.

Save on cost.

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