Leone Centre Glossary

Body Scan in EMDR

Body Scan

The body scan in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing) is a vital step in the therapeutic process, helping individuals become aware of physical sensations and reactions that may be linked to past experiences. This aids in the holistic integration of mind and body, promoting a deeper sense of self-awareness and healing.

Physical Reactions

Many individuals undergoing EMDR may experience physical reactions tied to traumatic memories. The body scan helps identify these reactions, providing insight into how past experiences manifest in the body.

In-Depth Exploration

The body scan involves systematically focusing on different parts of the body to notice any sensations, tensions, or discomfort. This awareness can reveal areas where trauma might be stored, facilitating the processing and resolution of these memories. Key features of the body scan include:

  1. Enhanced Self-Awareness: Recognising physical sensations linked to emotional experiences.
  2. Holistic Healing: Integrating physical and emotional aspects of trauma.
  3. Facilitating EMDR Process: Supporting the overall usefulness of EMDR therapy.

What is a Body Scan in EMDR?

The body scan in EMDR is a mindfulness activity used during therapy sessions to help individuals notice and understand physical sensations related to their emotional experiences.

Benefits of Body Scan

The body scan can provide numerous benefits, including heightened self-awareness, reduction in physical tension, and a deeper connection between mind and body, all of which are integral to the EMDR process.

How it Works

During an EMDR session, the therapist guides the individual through a body scan, prompting them to focus on different body parts and observe any sensations. This practice helps in identifying and addressing areas where trauma may be held physically.


What is the purpose of a body scan in EMDR?
The body scan helps individuals become aware of physical sensations linked to past traumas, aiding in the comprehensive processing of these memories.
How does the body scan support the EMDR process?
The body scan enhances the EMDR process by integrating physical and emotional healing, making the therapy more helpful.
Is the body scan suitable for everyone undergoing EMDR?
While generally beneficial, the suitability of the body scan in EMDR can vary. It’s best to discuss this with an experienced therapist.


For more detailed information on the body scan in EMDR, you can visit:

  1. EMDR Institute
  2. National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI)
  3. American Psychological Association (APA)
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This glossary provides definitions of various counselling terms and approaches for informational purposes only, without implying endorsement or service provision