It is common for clients, and for therapists, to be apprehensive about online delivery of psychotherapy. It is reasonable to be concerned it may lack the human connection and the therapeutic alliance that are so essential to the positive outcome of therapy.
The past years of the pandemic has tested such concerns and health services delivery mode had no choice but to adapt. In fact, many therapeutic modalities, including EMDR, have demonstrated telehealth was a convenient and efficient way to conduct therapy when face-to-face is not an option.
Researchers have found that remote EMDR can yield results similar to in-person:
- A November 2021 article published by Biomed Central Psychiatry reported:
- Therapists reported on the online EMDR treatment with a total of 93 clients, treated for PTSD, anxiety, and depression.
- Online EMDR improved the client’s mental health outcomes.
- The research paper is published at https://bmcpsychiatry.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12888-021-03571-x
- A June 2022 article published in the International Journal of methods in Psychiatric Research reported
- A survey of about 1,900 adults who received therapy through online apps and videoconference.
- Levels of anxiety and depression decreased.
- The research demonstrated the significant effect of the remote psychotherapy on mental health improvement
- An October 2021 article published in Frontiers in Psychology:
- A study conducted in Germany with therapists from the EMDR-Institute provided Information on the course of more than a hundred EMDR sessions.
- They reported the telehealth sessions appeared just as effective as the traditional method.
How is Online EMDR Therapy conducted?
Only the processing phase differs when conducting EMDR online. Digital bilateral stimulation tools are provided through the online platform used to deliver the therapy session
- A dot controlled remotely by the therapist moves on the client screen to provide eye tracking
- Bilateral audio tones stimulation can be delivered to the client’s headset
- Bilateral tapping can be self-administered, eyes open or closed