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Does Aetna Cover EMDR Therapy?

Does Aetna Cover EMDR Therapy?

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Does Aetna Cover EMDR Therapy?

Yes, Aetna insurance may be able to cover Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy in Tennessee, depending on the specifics of your insurance plan. Aetna views EMDR therapy as medically necessary for treating Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).1

Your out-of-pocket expenses will be less if the mental health services are in-network with Aetna than if they are out of network. However, keep in mind that depending on whether you have an HMO or PPO, you may require pre-authorization (a referral) before expecting EMDR therapy Aetna covers.2

How to Verify Aetna EMDR Coverage

Athena Care’s multiple EMDR treatment centers in Tennessee are in-network with most major insurance plans. Filling out this free, no-obligation online insurance verification form is the easiest and quickest method to determine the specifics of your Aetna coverage for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing.

Our expert care coordinators are here to handle the challenges of contacting your insurance provider for more information about EMDR Aetna coverage. A care coordinator will review your insurance plan and thoroughly explain your options after you’ve submitted the form. You can rest assured that all information shared or discussed is confidential.

What is Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy?

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is an evidence based psychotherapy involving bilateral stimulation that can take the form of tapping on both sides of the body, side-to-side eye movement, or similar behaviors. The patient recalls traumatic events while conducting these movements.3

To address trauma and other symptoms, the EDMR series of mental health assessments use a phased, targeted approach. The traumatized person must make a safe connection between the images, self-thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations related to their trauma. This approach promotes the development of adaptive resolution by the brain’s natural healing systems.4

How Does EMDR Work?

There are eight stages to EMDR therapy, which usually last about 90 minutes, occurring once or twice a week:5

  • Initial history discovery and treatment planning
    • The therapist creates a treatment plan after learning more about you. This stage addresses the specific issue(s) that caused you to seek therapy and the behaviors and symptoms that coincide.
  • Preparation
    • The therapist will provide particular skills to cope with any emotional problems. Establishing a trusting connection with your therapist is one of the key objectives of the preparation phase.
  • Assessment
    • To complete the assessment phase successfully, the therapist asks you to think about each issue (from phase one) in a controlled and consistent manner.This target could be a particular image or mental representation of the distressing memory and its corresponding negative belief. The goal is to change that negative self-statement into a positive one.
  • Desensitization
    • With appropriate shifts and changes in focus, the therapist leads you through various eye movements, noises, or taps.This continues until the values of the Subjective Units of Disturbance (SUD) scale are zero (or 1 or 2 if more appropriate).The objective of desensitization is for you to go beyond your initial goals and heal in ways you never thought possible.
  • Installation
    • In the installation phase, your objective is to focus on and reinforce your acknowledged positive belief to take the place of your initial negative belief. As a result, “I am now in control” will be installed.
  • Body scan
    • The therapist will have you recall the original issues and check for any remaining tension in the body. Reprocessing then addresses possible residual feelings.
  • Closure
    • This phase happens at the end of all EMDR therapy sessions. Closure ensures you feel better after each session than at the beginning.
  • Reevaluation
    • The reevaluation phase walks the therapist through the many treatment strategies necessary to address your issue(s). This phase happens at the start of every session.

What Does EMDR Therapy Treat?

Over 30 studies have shown that EMDR therapy is successful for health conditions such as:6

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Combat trauma
  • Rape and sexual abuse
  • Childhood trauma and neglect
  • Life-threatening accidents
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Substance abuse

How To Find Aetna EMDR Therapists Near Me?

Finding your ideal Aetna EMDR psychologist in Tennessee has never been easier, thanks to Athena Care. Our expertly trained care coordinators can assist you with any questions or concerns about EMDR therapy Aetna coverage at one of our multiple locations, open Monday through Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

In addition, here, you’ll find a list of health care practitioners organized by city and information about their backgrounds and specialties.

When choosing an Aetna EMDR provider, remember that it is in no way rude to inquire about their education before working with them. By completing an approved training program, therapists who want to offer EMDR can become clinicians trained in the method. This differs from the EMDR certification, which necessitates further education and training. However, clinicians who have received EMDR training are entirely qualified to provide EMDR.7

In addition to their education, below are a few other things you may want to ask a prospective therapist about:

  • Years of experience
  • If they have experience treating your specific condition and/or symptoms
  • Specialties and services offered
  • Treatment methods and philosophies
  • Insurance companies they work with
  • Office hours
  • Pricing
  • Session length

How Much Does EMDR Cost Without Insurance?

The following costs are estimates; in Tennessee, EMDR testing or treatment costs may differ depending on several variables, including location and the therapist’s credentials.

For EDMR therapy, allocate between $100 and $250 per hour per session without insurance to cover the costs. Given that it may take several therapy sessions to achieve the desired result, the total cost may be between $800 and $2,000.8


  1. “Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy.” Aetna, Aetna Inc., www.aetna.com/cpb/medical/data/500_599/0583.html. Accessed 3 Aug. 2022.
  2. “Mental Health Benefits for Members.” Aetna, Aetna Inc., www.aetna.com/individuals-families/health-insurance-through-work/health-insurance-information/behavioral-health.html. Accessed 3 Aug. 2022.
  3. “EMDR: Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing.” WebMD LLC, 2022, https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/emdr-what-is-it
  4. “EMDR Therapy for Anxiety, Panic, PTSD and Trauma.” Remedy Health Media LLC, 2022, https://www.psycom.net/emdr-therapy-anxiety-panic-ptsd-trauma/
  5. “Experiencing EMDR Therapy.” EMDRIA EMDR International Association, 2022, https://www.emdria.org/about-emdr-therapy/experiencing-emdr-therapy/
  6. “Research Overview.” EMDR Institute, Inc., 2020, https://www.emdr.com/research-overview/#adaptive
  7. Gotter, Ana, and Crystal Raypole. “Considering EMDR Therapy? What to Expect.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 11 Jan. 2022, www.healthline.com/health/emdr-therapy#considerations.
  8. “How Much Does EMDR Therapy Cost?” HowMuchIsIt.Org, 2018, https://www.howmuchisit.org/emdr-therapy-cost/

If you suspect that you or someone you love suffers from mental health disorders, contact Athena Care today.

One of our friendly associates will help you get the help you need. Take this first step to feel better and take control. 

(615) 320-1155