Leone Centre Glossary

Eight-Phase Protocol in EMDR

Eight-Phase Protocol

The Eight-Phase Protocol is a fundamental aspect of Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy, offering a structured framework to facilitate healing and transformation. It addresses various psychological issues, providing a comprehensive method to process and integrate traumatic experiences.

Detailed Framework

The Eight-Phase Protocol in EMDR is designed to guide clients through a series of stages that support emotional and psychological well-being.

  1. History Taking: The therapist gathers the client’s history and assesses their readiness for EMDR.
  2. Preparation: The therapist explains the EMDR process and teaches the client relaxation methods.
  3. Assessment: The therapist identifies the target memory and establishes baseline measurements of the client’s response.
  4. Desensitisation: The client focuses on the traumatic memory while engaging in bilateral stimulation, such as eye movements or tapping.
  5. Installation: Positive beliefs are reinforced to replace the negative beliefs associated with the traumatic memory.
  6. Body Scan: The client scans their body to identify and process any residual physical tension related to the traumatic memory.
  7. Closure: The therapist ensures the client feels stable and safe before concluding the session.
  8. Reevaluation: The therapist and client review progress and plan for future sessions as needed.

Comprehensive Insight

The Eight-Phase Protocol in EMDR therapy is a well-established method that ensures thorough support through its structured stages. By systematically addressing and reprocessing traumatic memories, the protocol supports emotional stability and personal growth.


What is the purpose of the history-taking phase?
The history-taking phase allows the therapist to understand the client’s background and determine their readiness for EMDR therapy.
How does bilateral stimulation work?
Bilateral stimulation involves engaging both sides of the brain through eye movements, tapping, or auditory tones, which helps in processing and integrating traumatic memories.
What happens during the installation phase?
During the installation phase, positive beliefs are strengthened to replace negative beliefs associated with the traumatic memory.
Is EMDR therapy suitable for everyone?
EMDR therapy can be beneficial for many individuals, but its suitability should be assessed by an experienced therapist based on the individual’s specific needs and circumstances.


  1. Shapiro, F. (2018). Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy, Third Edition: Basic Principles, Protocols, and Procedures. Guilford Press.
  2. American Psychological Association. (2020). EMDR Therapy.
  3. EMDR International Association. (2021). About EMDR Therapy.
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This glossary provides definitions of various counselling terms and approaches for informational purposes only, without implying endorsement or service provision