What is Looping in EMDR Therapy?

In EMDR Therapy, there is a common term referred to as "Looping". Looping is when an individual in is the middle of Phase 4 of EMDR therapy, but the processing is blocked. A client is stuck on negative thoughts or beliefs. Despite the use of eye movements or taps (forms of bilateral stimulation), the client seems to be in a rut of negativity. Adaptive Information is not coming into the reprocessing.

Why Does It Happen

Looping can happen for a number of reasons. The most common is usually because the client has a significant trauma history, so there are a lot of thoughts and memories that may be overwhelming the cleint and making it difficult for adaptive information to get through.

Examples of complex trauma include:

  • childhood abuse

  • emotional neglect

  • sexual molestation