Virtual EMDR: What is it and how does it work?

A woman smiles as she types on her laptop in the sun. This could represent one of the many calm places to start virtual EMDR in Florida. Contact a virtual EMDR therapist in Florida today!

By: Yashira Oropeza-Diaz, Psy.D, MSCP, LMHC, CTMH

Licensed Psychologist

What is Online EMDR?

To understand how Remote/Online EMDR works, first, we need to understand the basics of EMDR. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy is an evidence-based integrative approach. EMDR works to help you process information that has been “unprocessed” in your brain. The way your brain takes information and stores it is a complicated topic, but, it all starts with the input. The information comes from the external world. Your brain takes info from the outside world and categorizes it. Then, it sends the different parts to different areas of the brain for processing. After, the brain decides what needs to stay “stored” and what can go away as it is not important or necessary to keep.

A woman sits against the wall with her hands covering her face. This could represent the pain that is addressed in online EMDR in Florida. An online EMDR therapist can support you with online EMDR therapy in Florida. Contact us today!

Why online EMDR is needed.

When a stressful situation happens, your brain takes care of you. In doing so, it takes all the input from the experience and sends it straight to your long-term memory. But, it does so without it encoding and being “categorized”. Thus, when something new reminds you of that original experience, it feels like you are going through the “whole thing all over again”. Even though you “rationally” know that it is not happening again, it can still be a scary experience.

What to Expect From Virtual EMDR in Florida

EMDR helps you engage and access this unprocessed information. By doing so, you can categorize it like it should have happened at first. An EMDR therapist accomplishes this by using bilateral stimulation or “BLS”. Bilateral stimulation is anything that you do with both sides of your body (or brain). Walking, dancing, marching, tapping, or moving your eyes from one side to the other, is bilateral. The typical and most researched BLS used in EMDR is eye movement. During an “in-person meeting” you will follow your EMDR therapist’s hand back and forth while you focus on a specific stimulus. This facilitates the processing and after a couple of rounds, the resolution of these stressful thoughts or memories.

During a remote/online EMDR session, your online therapist will use a very similar approach.

By using a visual stimulus on your screen, you will have instructions to “follow with your eyes”. Your EMDR therapist can also apply bilateral sounds. Or, instruct you to tap your knees or arms while following the visual stimuli. All these stimuli are a part of considered BLS and will support the reprocessing in the same way as you would do during an in-person session.

Here are some suggestions for successful online EMDR therapy in Florida:

  • Have a conversation with your therapist about the type of BLS that they use. Some therapists use specific websites that integrate the BLS. They might ask you to explore the website beforehand to be familiar with the process. Some examples of these are and
  • If you are going to be using eye movement: the bigger your screen, the better. That will help you have a better range to move your eyes back and forth.An online EMDR therapist moves their finger as the clients gaze follows. This could represent what online EMDR therapy in Florida might feel like. Contact an online emdr therapist today for support with online EMDR therapy!
  • Having headphones with bilateral sounds will help you focus and cancel sounds that might distract from the session. It is okay to pick and choose what BLS feels more comfortable to you. You can use only one or a combination of them.
  • Have a trial of the program and settings before using it for processing. Ask your therapist to set it up with you. You will have different options for your visual and auditory comfort. You can decide what speed is comfortable for you, as well.
During the session, your EMDR therapist will handle the “technology” and coach you through it. You will only have to show up and join in the process. Remember that your therapist is there to support you. We want to find the settings, speed, and BLS that will work best for you.

Begin Virtual EMDR Therapy in Florida

I hope this post has been helpful in informing you about what remote/online EMDR has to offer. Our doctoral-level psychologists specialize in EMDR therapy. We would love to provide support at our Tampa, FL-based therapy practice, or through virtual EMDR therapy! To start your therapy journey, follow these simple steps:
  1. Contact Wellness Psychological Services
  2. Meet with a caring clinical psychologist such as EMDR therapist Dr. Oropeza-Diaz
  3. Start virtual EMDR therapy from the comfort of homeA person types on their laptop with one hand while holding a cup in the other. This could represent the convenience of online EMDR in Florida. Contact an online EMDR therapist in Florida for online EMDR therapy in Florida today!

Psychotherapy at Wellness Psychological Services

Virtual EMDR therapy is not the only service offered at our Tampa, FL-based therapy practice. We also offer online therapy, individual therapy, and options for couples counseling. For couples, we offer marriage counseling, divorce discernment counseling, support through a divorce, and mediation. We also offer support for individuals with anxiety treatment, trauma therapy, depression counseling, OCD treatment, stress management, and most other common mental health concerns. Feel free to learn more about our St. Petersburg & Tampa, FL therapy offices, or our testing and evaluation services.

205 S. Hoover Blvd. Ste 202
Tampa, FL 33609
(813) 563-1155

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