NYC Psychotherapist Blog

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Sunday, June 9, 2024

EMDR Therapy Online is Just as Effective as in Person

Like many psychotherapists these days, I have a hybrid private practice in New York with in person and online sessions.

I know many people are apprehensive about doing online therapy because they believe it won't be as effective as in person therapy. 

I also believed this--until the pandemic made it necessary for therapists and clients to switch from in person to online therapy and I had to try working with clients online.

I was pleasantly surprised to discover that my experience with online therapy, including EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapy, has been just as effective as in person sessions (see my article: How EMDR Therapy Works: EMDR and the Brain).

EMDR Online is Just as Effective as in Person

A lot of clients are also surprised to hear that EMDR can be done online, so when they ask me what the difference is between EMDR therapy in person and EMDR online, my response is that the EMDR protocol is exactly the same online as it is in person. 

In other words, the eight phases of EMDR therapy remain the same and the protocol for setting up EMDR sessions is the same.  

What might be different are some minor adjustments to the Bilateral Stimulation used during EMDR (see my article: What is Bilateral Stimulation (BLS) in EMDR Therapy?).

The reason I say might be different is that, depending upon the client's and therapist's preferences for doing BLS, BLS can often be done the same way online as it is in person.  

For instance, if there is a preference for bilateral tapping (the client tapping on their knees or upper arms) this can be done the same way online as it's done in person and this type of tapping is just as effective as eye movements or auditory tones.

Advantages of Online EMDR Therapy
EMDR therapy online has the same advantages as online talk therapy, including but not limited to:
  • You Experience Therapy in the Comfort and Safety of Your Home: Some clients prefer to be in the comfort and safety of their own home when they're processing trauma. 
  • You Save on Travel Time and Cost: Commuting can be expensive and time consuming, even if you live within New York City, Also, if you're late for a therapy session due to public transportation or traffic, you probably won't get the full hour because therapists often have clients scheduled back to back. Whereas if you're having an online session, you just need to go to where you have your phone, computer or iPad in your home.
EMDR Online is Just as Effective as in Person

  • You Experience the Benefit of Greater Access to Therapy: For many clients traveling into New York City might not be feasible on a weekly basis. For instance, if you live in Long Island, Westchester, Upstate New York or anywhere within New York State that isn't Manhattan, you might not find it practical to travel to Manhattan every week, especially if you don't work in Manhattan. Also, there might not be an EMDR therapist in your area, but as long as you live within New York State, you can have online access to therapists anywhere in New York State, including New York City.
The Choice is Yours: In Person, Online EMDR Therapy or a Combination of Both
Whether you do in person or online EMDR therapy, if you are a candidate for EMDR therapy, the choice is yours.

Even if you choose in person therapy, you might have days when you can't commute to Manhattan for a particular reason, so you might need to do a combination of in person and online at times.

Many clients who haven't experienced online therapy are apprehensive about trying it. However, in my experience, most clients who try online therapy, whether it's EMDR or another type of therapy, are often pleasantly surprised to discover that they like it and some even prefer it.

EMDR therapy is just as effective online as it is in person.

In order to do online therapy, you need to have a reliable Internet connection for a cell phone, iPad or computer.  You also need to have privacy to make sure your sessions are confidential.

As of this writing, you must either live in the state where your therapist is licensed to do online therapy or you must be able to come to a therapist's office (even if you live in a different state). This law might change at some point, so check laws in your state.

About Me
I am a licensed New York psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, EMDR, AEDP, Somatic Experiencing and Sex Therapist.

I work with individual adults and couples in person in my Greenwich Village office and online on Zoom (see my article: What is a Trauma Therapist?)

To find out more about me, visit my website: Josephine Ferraro, LCSW - NYC Psychotherapist.

To set up a consultation, call me at (917) 742-2624 during business hours or email me.