Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder
Since Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) was introduced 12 years ago it has become the most researched treatment for PTSD and its efficacy has been widely recognized. EMDR is a comprehensive treatment protocol in which the client attends to emotionally disturbing material in short sequential doses while simultaneously focusing on an external stimulus (therapist-directed eye movements, hand-tapping, auditory tones). This chapter provides an overview of the development of EMDR and Shapiro's Adaptive Information Processing model, which hypothesizes that EMDR works by forging new links between elements of traumatic memories and adaptive information contained in other memory networks. The empirical evidence is examined, with summaries of 12 controlled studies: civilian participants demonstrated a 70 to 90% decrease in PTSD diagnosis after 3 to 4 EMDR sessions, and combat veterans a 78% decrease in PTSD diagnosis after 12 sessions. A concise explanation of the 8 phases of EMDR treatment process is augmented with multiple client vignettes. Finally, a case illustration provides a detailed description of the application of EMDR in the treatment of PTSD.
Original Work Citation
Maxfield, L. (2002). Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder. In C. R. Figley (Ed.), Brief treatments for the traumatized: A project of the Green Cross Foundation (pp. 148-169). Westport, CT: Greenwood Press
“Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed October 27, 2020, https://emdria.omeka.net/items/show/17279.