Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing: A treatment efficacy model
Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), though controversial, is increasingly utilized for treatment of PTSD. This article reviews the debate concerning efficacy and concludes that the evidence, though not definitive, supports EMDR's positive treatment effects. The authors argue that EMDR is a therapeutic intervention different from exposure. The authors set forth three interrelated hypotheses to explain EMDR's therapeutic mechanism: bilateral hemispheric activation, normalized brain activation patterns, and activation/desensitization of emotion/arousal; avoidant/constricted attention is disrupted, allowing normalizing processes to occur. Lowered arousal then leads to a resumption of more adaptive cognitive processing. Some predictions to test this model are presented.
Original Work Citation
Welch, K. L., & Beere, D. B. (2002, May-June). Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing: A treatment efficacy model. Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, 9(3), 165-176. doi:10.1002/cpp.323
“Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing: A treatment efficacy model,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed October 17, 2021, https://emdria.omeka.net/items/show/17415.