The effectiveness of EMDR in a child guidance center


Objective: This study evaluated the effectiveness of adding EMDR to the routine treatment regimen of child therapists. Method: 39 child guidance center clients were randomly assigned to an experimental group that received EMDR plus the center's routine treatment package or a control group that received only the center's routine treatment package. Results: Analyses of variance found no significant differences in Child Behavior Checklist scores between groups. Subanalyses conducted for 33 clients with elevated pretest scores found moderate effect sizes that approached, but fell short of, statistical significance. Conclusions: These findings raise doubts about notions that EMDR produces rapid and dramatic improvements with children whose emotional and behavioral problems are not narrowly connected to a specific trauma and who require improvisational deviations from the standard EMDR protocol. Further research is needed in light of the special difficulties connected to implementing the EMDR protocol with clients like those in this study.






Allen Rubin
Sharon Bischofshausen
Kelly Conroy-Moore
Beth Dennis
Mike Hastie
Linda Melnick
Donna Reeves
Teresa Smith

Original Work Citation

Rubin, A., Bischofshausen, S., Conroy-Moore, K., Dennis, B., Hastie, M., Melnick, L., Reeves, D., & Smith, T. (2001, July). The effectiveness of EMDR in a child guidance center. Research on Social Work Practice, 11(4), 435-457. doi:10.1177/104973150101100402



“The effectiveness of EMDR in a child guidance center,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed December 1, 2021,

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