Bilateral stimulation in EMDR:  A replicated single-subject component analysis


This study attempted to determine whether the eye movement component of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) was necessary to account for positive treatment effects in subjects with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). A single-subject alternating treatments design was replicated across four subjects to compare the effectiveness of EMDR with the effectiveness of a modified EMDR procedure in which the eyes remained in a natural state. The comparative procedure was chosen to eliminate the contribution of distraction and the addition of any other form of bilateral stimulation. The first hypothesis was supported. Subjects showed statistically significant pre- (baseline) to posttreatment improvement following EMDR and the modified EMDR procedure (without eye movements). The second hypothesis was not supported. While subjects significantly improved following both EMDR and the modified, without-eye-movements EMDR procedure, there were no statistically significant differences between treatments on within- or between-session measures. Instead, both treatments were found to be effective in reducing trauma and global symptoms in the four female subjects who participated in the study.






Karen M. VanDeusen

Original Work Citation

VanDeusen, K. M. (2004, Summer). Bilateral stimulation in EMDR: A replicated single-subject component analysis. the Behavior Therapist, 27(4), 79-86



“Bilateral stimulation in EMDR:  A replicated single-subject component analysis,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed October 15, 2021,

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