Leone Centre Glossary

Stabilisation Methods in EMDR

Stabilisation Methods

Stabilisation methods in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing) are vital for ensuring clients feel secure and present during sessions. These methods are designed to help individuals manage distressing emotions and stay grounded throughout the therapeutic process.

Managing emotional distress

Many individuals undergoing EMDR therapy experience heightened emotional distress. Stabilisation methods address these challenges by providing tools to help clients maintain a sense of safety and control.

Stabilisation methods include various methods such as breathing exercises, mindfulness practices, and sensory grounding. These approaches help clients stay connected to the present moment, reducing anxiety and preventing overwhelm.

Key features and benefits

  1. Breathing exercises: Activities like diaphragmatic breathing promote relaxation and reduce physiological arousal.
  2. Mindfulness practices: Encouraging a focus on the present moment helps clients distance themselves from traumatic memories.
  3. Sensory grounding: Using the five senses to stay present can interrupt distressing thoughts and emotions.
  4. Convenience and flexibility: These actions can be practised both in and out of therapy sessions, offering continuous support.

How it helps

These methods assist clients in managing anxiety and maintaining emotional balance, facilitating a smoother therapeutic experience.

How it works

Stabilisation methods are introduced early in EMDR therapy. Clients practice these methods to build resilience and enhance their capacity to handle emotional distress during reprocessing phases.


What are stabilisation methods in EMDR?
Stabilisation methods are used in EMDR therapy to help clients manage distress and stay grounded during sessions.
Why are stabilisation methods important in EMDR?
They ensure clients feel safe and can manage emotional distress, making the therapeutic process more helpful.
Can stabilisation methods be used outside of therapy sessions?
Yes, these methods can be practised outside of therapy to provide continuous support and help manage anxiety in daily life.


  1. Shapiro, F. (2017). Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy: Basic Principles, Protocols, and Procedures. Guilford Publications.
  2. Leeds, A. M. (2016). A Guide to the Standard EMDR Therapy Protocols for Clinicians, Supervisors, and Consultants. Springer Publishing Company.
  3. EMDR International Association. (2021). EMDR Therapy Overview.
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This glossary provides definitions of various counselling terms and approaches for informational purposes only, without implying endorsement or service provision