The comparative effects of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) in the treatment of depression
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a unique, short-term therapy shown to be effective in the treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Application of EMDR to the treatment of depression was considered based upon the relationship between negative life experience and symptom onset, a pattern common to both PTSD and depression. Evaluation of the efficacy of EMDR in the treatment of depression was accomplished via a comparison with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Because EMDR has been shown to be effective in the treatment of PTSD, the impact of EMDR and CBT upon symptoms comorbid to depression was investigated. EMDR was also compared to CBT assessing the participants' satisfaction. The participants, 15 per treatment group, received either one session of EMDR or cognitive behavioral therapy within the first four sessions. Pre and posttreatment assessment utilized two standardized instruments evaluating self-report of depressive and global symptoms. Participant satisfaction was assessed using a rating scale at posttreatment. Both treatment groups reported significant reductions in depressive symptoms and global symptoms. There were no statistical differences between groups on the symptom measures at posttreatment. Four participants in the EMDR group reported near complete remission of depressive symptoms and large reductions in global symptoms. No participants in the CBT group exhibited this pattern of symptom reduction. Regarding participant satisfaction, participants perceived EMDR to be less negative than CBT primarily due to the increased awareness of negative thoughts common to cognitive behavioral therapy but not experienced in EMDR treatment. The similarity in symptom reduction reported for both groups suggested the undue influence of non-specific treatment effects. The marked remission of symptoms reported by the four participants in the EMDR group parallels the symptom reductions noted in EMDR studies of PTSD.
Original Work Citation
Hogan, W. A. (2001, August). The comparative effects of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) in the treatment of depression. Dissertation Abstracts International: Section B: The Sciences and Engineering, 62(2-B), 1082
“The comparative effects of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) in the treatment of depression,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed February 26, 2021, https://emdria.omeka.net/items/show/15440.