The efficacy of EMDR with traumatized children


This study evaluated the effectiveness of up to five 60-minute sessions of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) for children (ages 8-12) who had suffered one or more traumas. Participants (N = 48) were randomly assigned to either an EMDR experimental group or a waiting list control. They were provided treatment by one of five therapists, all of whom were experienced, independent clinicians having received Level 2 training in the EMDR technique. The therapists followed Shapiro's protocol for children and were in 90% compliance with the protocol. The participants were carefully screened according to Shapiro criteria. This study was unique in that it included an integrated outcome measure (UCLA PTSD Index), consisting of an assessment of PTSD criteria and a rating of symptoms, reported by both parent and child. Analysis of pre-post changes consisted of two 2 x 3 ANCOVAs, one each for the child and adult report. The analysis of covariance revealed a main effect for the covariate (the pretest total PTSD Score), a main effect for group, and a significant group x time interaction effect, for both the child and adult report. Post hoc (Scheffe) analysis revealed that participants maintained the benefits of treatment at 1-month follow-up.






Mary Jo Jeffres

Original Work Citation

Jeffres, M. J. (2004). The efficacy of EMDR with traumatized children. Dissertation Abstracts International: Section B: The Sciences and Engineering, 64(8-B), 4042



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