EMDR is particularly effective with people who have experienced a trauma or have witnessed such events. It is a fast and effective treatment for PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and can help reduce flashbacks, intrusive thoughts and images, and high arousal. EMDR can also help people who have had more chronic traumas such as domestic violence, bullying or child abuse. It is also used to help people resolve and move on from difficult experiences or "stuck" memories, images and thoughts.

It is also effective with phobias such as dental phobia, wasp phobia, fear of flying, claustrophobia etc., particularly phobias resulting from a traumatic incident.