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What is Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR)?

Updated: May 7

One effective technique that can help improve focus and concentration is Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). EMDR is a therapy method developed to treat trauma, but it can also be used to help other medical conditions. By using EMDR to process and desensitize emotions, individuals can experience a greater sense of calm and clarity, which in turn can improve focus, concentration, mood, decrease undesirable habits/behaviors (e.g., eating disorders) relationships, and work/athletic performance.

How EMDR works:

Here's how EMDR can help:

1. Identifying triggers: EMDR begins with identifying the specific thoughts, memories, or experiences that trigger emotional distress or distractibility. These triggers can affect your ability to focus and concentrate on tasks at hand.

2. Settle down negative thoughts and emotions: Once the triggers are identified, you will engage in bilateral stimulation, which typically involves moving your eyes back and forth while recalling the distressing event or thought. This bilateral stimulation helps to activate both hemispheres of the brain, allowing the mind to process the distress in a more adaptive way.

3. Reprocessing memories: Through the use of guided imagery and bilateral stimulation, EMDR helps to desensitize negative emotions associated with past experiences. By activating different parts of the brain and allowing them to communicate more effectively, EMDR helps to reprocess and integrate these memories into a more helpful and less emotionally disruptive form.

4. Cognitive restructuring: EMDR also includes cognitive restructuring techniques, which involve identifying and challenging negative beliefs or interpretations that may contribute to distractibility or lack of focus. By replacing negative or self-defeating thoughts with more positive and helpful ones, you can improve your ability to concentrate on tasks without being hindered by negative thinking patterns.


It is important to approach mental health care from a holistic perspective that takes into account the interconnectedness of the mind, body, and soul.

Here are some additional steps you can take to improve focus and concentration:

1. Establish a healthy lifestyle: Ensure you are getting enough sleep, eating a balanced diet, and engaging in regular physical activity. Taking care of your body can have a positive impact on your cognitive functioning.

2. Practice mindfulness and meditation: These practices can help calm the mind, increase focus, and improve concentration. Regularly carving out time for mindfulness exercises can help manage distractions and promote mental clarity.

3. Manage stress: Excessive stress can negatively impact your ability to concentrate. Implement stress management techniques such as deep breathing exercises, journaling, or engaging in activities that you find relaxing and enjoyable.

4. Create a conducive environment: Eliminate distractions in your environment that may hinder your focus, such as clutter, noise, or notifications on electronic devices. Designate a specific area for work or studying that helps you feel focused and productive.

5. Use time management techniques: Break tasks into smaller, more manageable chunks and prioritize them accordingly. This can help prevent overwhelm and improve focus by allowing you to concentrate on one task at a time.

Remember, everyone is unique, and what works for one person may not work for another. It may be beneficial to experiment with different strategies and find what works best for you. If you continue to struggle with focus and concentration despite implementing these steps, consider reaching out to a mental health professional for personalized support and guidance. If you are interested in EMDR or other modalities to assist in your wellness journey, click below to learn more about what I can offer through my clinic.

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