Organizations use Psylaris products


Therapists use our software worldwide


Completed sessions with our applications

What is the difference between EMDR and IEMT?

Many people walk around with an unprocessed trauma. When you cannot process a certain traumatic memory, this can cause you a lot of trouble. Ultimately, this can lead to a post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), with all its consequences. A well-known therapy for processing trauma is EMDR. But nowadays there is also IEMT. Both types of therapy have common ground, but also some major differences. What is the difference between the two therapies?

What is EMDR?

EMDR stands for 'Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing'. It is a form of therapy in which distraction is central, because the practitioner makes a hand gesture that you have to follow with your eyes. This happens during the reliving of a specific traumatic event that is bothering you. Nowadays, there are also other distraction techniques, such as a sound signal or a digital distraction via a computer screen. At EMDR The focus is on one particular trauma. When this trauma has been dealt with, the complaints caused by it usually disappear as well. EMDR is a tried and tested method, which has also been scientifically proven to be a successful therapy.

What is IEMT?

IEMT is short for Integral Eye Movement Therapy. Here too, eye movements are central when thinking back to a bad moment. However, this does not necessarily have to be a particular event that is bothering people at the time. It can even be too painful for the client to relive a trauma. The therapist only asks about the feeling of that moment and whether there were other moments when this feeling recurred. Then an intervention with eye movements is done according to a certain pattern, through which other memories related to the feeling may surface. IEMT does not have to be about one type of trauma, but can also help to deal with several major events in a person's life.

Agreement: eye movements

The most important similarity between EMDR and IEMT is that eye movements are used for trauma processing. Although it is not yet scientifically known how this works in the brain, it is clear that eye movements affect the brain area where memories are stored. Eye movements can cause certain memories to be forgotten. Ultimately, a particular memory does not always have to be forgotten, but the sharp edges, or trauma, can be forgotten through eye movements. This causes memories with a trauma to be seen in a completely different light and these memories can be handled better. With EMDR, eye movements are used very consciously to make people forget the trauma of one particular traumatic event. With IEMT extensive exercises are done with the eyes during the session, focusing on the feeling and not on the memory itself.

The most important difference between EMDR and IEMT

There is a very important difference between EMDR and IEMT. This difference can determine whether someone eventually chooses EMDR or IEMT. With EMDR, the focus is on a specific unresolved trauma. If you have had complaints for a long time that can clearly be traced back to this trauma, EMDR can be very successful. During the session, the client really searches for the memory and has to relive it. This can sometimes make a session exhausting, which can lead to persistent complaints afterwards. With IEMT, it is not a specific traumatic memory that forms the basis for a session, but the feeling. The focus is on when this feeling arose. Even though you recently went through a traumatic experience, you do not have to relive it. You are only asked whether you have experienced this feeling before. This allows you to come into contact with different events in your life, during which you experienced these feelings. During the session, you never have to tell about the content of certain memories, something that EMDR requires you to do.

Choosing EMDR or IEMT?

For many clients it can be an advantage to choose IEMT, so that they do not have to relive their trauma intensively. On the other hand, EMDR is very successful. It is possible to process a trauma in the right way by reliving it. IEMT is therefore especially suitable when it is a question of a feeling that recurs more often and cannot be traced back to one specific event. In addition, IEMT is a new form of technique, which is innovative. EMDR is already a tried and tested method with successful results.

Would you like to talk further about What is the difference between EMDR and IEMT? or other possibilities within the mental healthcare?

Share this article

Continue reading

This website uses cookies to ensure that you get the best experience on our website.