Combating tsunami disaster through EMDR


After the 2004 tsunami devastation in Sri Lanka, many citizens experienced severe psychological reactions. The effectiveness of EMDR is illustrated in the treatment of 7 of these individuals: 3 children and 2 adults with PTSD symptoms and 2 adults with depressive symptoms. After 3-8 sessions of EMDR the symptoms were eradicated and these clients were free from their depressive feelings, anxieties, intrusions, and nightmares, were able to function normally, and were able to lead productive lives. These outcomes replicate those in the research literature demonstrating that EMDR is an efficacious treatment for PTSD in general, with specific utility for disaster-related PTSD. It is recommended that future controlled studies be conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of EMDR in the immediate aftermath of disasters and to assess its effectiveness with major depressive disorder.






Ruwan M. Jayatunge

Original Work Citation

Jayatunge, R. M. (2008). Combating tsunami disaster through EMDR. Journal of EMDR Practice and Research, 2(2), 140-145. doi:10.1891/1933-3196.2.2.140



“Combating tsunami disaster through EMDR,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed January 19, 2022,

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