Before and after brain scan images show the transformative power of EMDR therapy

25 Nov 2016


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For the first time in history, scientists have access to imaging technologies that can peer into the functioning of the human brain on the tiniest of levels.

With advanced new scanning techniques such as SPECT imaging scans and the fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) we have a newer and deeper understanding of our internal computer than we once ever thought possible.


And it is these types of technology that are giving us a direct look at how EMDR Therapy changes the human brain and can make it work more efficiently.
Have a look at this first set of images.

Look at the left image. See the red color scattered throughout the brain? That’s the areas that aren’t functioning the way they should be, in fact they are over-working! 

Now check out the image on the right hand side. This image was taken after the person went through a series of EMDR sessions. Notice how the affected area has decreased substantially to the point of almost being completely gone?This is how a brain should function. 

Does EMDR Therapy make you think more clearly?

Speaking for myself on this, the answer is a resounding yes. My personal experience is that EMDR Therapy took away the cobwebs.

In his testimonial to the Virtual EMDR online at-home EMDR Therapy company, a former customer named Lars agrees. “It felt like an unexpected benefit of the EMDR. Not only did it deal with my symptoms but I also felt like I was less foggy and had a certain new clarity. It’s hard to explain really.”

Now let's look at a second set of images.

Here you can see a brain scan from two different angles and on a different person. The red area shows unhealthy over activity in the brain. Now notice the two images on the right taken after EMDR Therapy. The red is almost totally gone and the brain is functioning normally and efficiently.
Through using EMDR to change the brain, people can turn unhealthy and self-destructive thoughts into healthy and positive beliefs and behaviors that will better their lives. This information about how EMDR can transform a person is supported by dozens of scientific studies.

EMDR Therapy is being used to treat things like depression, fear and anxiety, low self-esteem, addiction, grief and loss, and also trauma and PTSD.

As one of the most researched psychotherapeutic treatments, EMDR has been studied among many groups of patients, including military veterans and victims of sexual assault. In some studies, more than 70% of subjects no longer demonstrated their symptoms after as few as three sessions of EMDR. In a study of depressed people, EMDR therapy was found to be more effective than Prozac for long-term treatment. Clinical studies have even shown that EMDR helps patients heal or change problem behaviors in a fraction of the time required by other forms of therapy.

The Menninger Clinic in Houston Texas controlled study of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) found that, “three 90-minute sessions of EMDR eliminated post-traumatic stress disorder in 90% of rape victims.”

A second study published by the Journal of Traumatic Stress found that after only 12 sessions of EMDR therapy, symptoms were eliminated in 77.7% of the combat veterans who were studied. It was also found that even as time had passed, the vets stayed well and did not slide back into their symptoms.

“There was 100% retention in the EMDR condition. Effects were maintained at follow-up." This means that the veterans they were studying not only got better from the EMDR but also maintained their state of wellness at a rate of 100% after the study was done.

Dr. Francine Shapiro, the founder of EMDR Therapy as a mental health treatment, said that somehow EMDR seems to disrupt working memory. This means that after going through the EMDR Therapy process, people will perceive their negative memories, feelings, and even their behavioral compulsions such as addiction differently.  

“About another dozen studies using brain scans have observed significant neurophysiological pre-post EMDR therapy changes, including an increase in hippocampal volume.” Shapiro said.

Interested in trying The Virtual EMDR online EMDR Therapy program at home with a step-by-step guide? Sign up for here. 

View Comments

Michael · 07 Dec 2019

I am an EMDR therapist and I have never seen a therapy that can make such a difference in serious trauma. Please seek a qualified therapist and give it a shot.


Annette · 06 Aug 2019

How long after we’re the scans taken? Is the lowness of the red permanent? I’m skeptical that the scans were taken just after a session and not permanent.


Dave Anderson · 13 Jun 2019

That is interesting that EMDR therapy can be used to treat depression. Maybe this might be an effective treatment for me to try out sometime soon. This is something I am going to talk to a doctor about to help treat my depression.


Ben · 10 May 2019

I can only speak for my self, that finding a qualified therapist who is able to give EDMR therapy can help dramatically and in a shorter period of time as stated above.


Debra · 19 Jun 2018

Hi I am suffering really bad anxiety and depersonalisation. Can you help me please. I just want to feel like myself again


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