EMDR: Miracle cure or sleight of hand? . . . Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing
Thousands of victims of phobias, rape, childhood abuse, natural disasters, and combat-related post-traumatic stress disorder have benefited from a controversial new treatment called Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). Developed in the late 1980s by psychologist Francine Shapiro, EMDR involves having patients move their eyes back and forth, following a practitioner's fingers, while the practitioner evokes an image or feeling about a specific trauma. Shapiro speculates that the method may unlock traumatic feelings and pictures from the nervous system because the eye movements in EMDR are similar to movements that occur during REM sleep, which is when the brain processes disturbing memories. Researchers are currently trying to measure the effectiveness of EMDR, which is used by an estimated 7,000 therapists across the U.S. Some critics dismiss EMDR as pop psychology promoted by hucksters.
Original Work Citation
Doner, K. (1994, September). EMDR: Miracle cure or sleight of hand? . . . Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing. American Health, 13(7), 78-79
“EMDR: Miracle cure or sleight of hand? . . . Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed July 6, 2020, https://emdria.omeka.net/items/show/15339.