Leone Centre Glossary

Trauma resilience in EMDR

Trauma resilience

Trauma resilience in EMDR focuses on enhancing an individual’s ability to recover from traumatic experiences using Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy. This glossary entry will explore the concept of trauma resilience, its importance, and how EMDR therapy contributes to fostering this resilience.

Understanding trauma resilience

Trauma resilience refers to the capacity to adapt and recover from traumatic events. It is a crucial aspect of mental health, allowing individuals to regain their sense of normalcy and continue with their lives. Factors such as social support, coping skills, and psychological flexibility play a vital role in building resilience.

The role of EMDR in building resilience

EMDR therapy is a structured approach to processing and resolving traumatic memories. By using bilateral stimulation, such as eye movements, EMDR helps individuals reprocess distressing memories, reducing their emotional impact. This therapeutic process enables the development of trauma resilience, as it assists individuals in integrating traumatic experiences into their broader life narrative, fostering a sense of mastery and control.

Mechanisms of EMDR therapy

EMDR therapy involves eight phases, including history-taking, preparation, assessment, desensitisation, installation, body scan, closure, and re-evaluation. Each phase contributes to the processing and integration of traumatic memories. The bilateral stimulation used in EMDR is believed to facilitate the communication between the brain’s hemispheres, aiding in the resolution of unprocessed memories.


What is trauma resilience?
Trauma resilience is the ability to adapt and recover from traumatic events, maintaining psychological well-being and functioning.
How does EMDR therapy help in building trauma resilience?
EMDR therapy helps in building trauma resilience by enabling the reprocessing of traumatic memories, reducing their emotional impact and integrating them into a broader life context.
What are the phases of EMDR therapy?
EMDR therapy consists of eight phases: history-taking, preparation, assessment, desensitisation, installation, body scan, closure, and re-evaluation.


  1. Shapiro, F. (2001). Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Basic Principles, Protocols and Procedures. New York: Guilford Press.
  2. Parnell, L. (2007). Tapping In: A Step-by-Step Guide to Activating Your Healing Resources Through Bilateral Stimulation. Boulder: Sounds True.
  3. Leeds, A. M. (2009). A Guide to the Standard EMDR Therapy Protocols for Clinicians, Supervisors, and Consultants. New York: Springer Publishing Company.
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This glossary provides definitions of various counselling terms and approaches for informational purposes only, without implying endorsement or service provision