Interview with Francine Shapiro: Historical overview, present issues, and future directions of EMDR


This interview with Dr. Francine Shapiro, originator and developer of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), provides an overview of the history and evolution of EMDR from its inception to current findings and utilization, as well as future directions in research and clinical development. Dr. Shapiro discusses the psychological traditions that informed the development of EMDR and the Adaptive Information model, as well as the implications for current treatment. The rationale for the application of EMDR to a wide range of disorders is discussed, as well as its integration with other therapeutic approaches. Topics include research on the role of eye movements, the use of EMDR with combat veterans, somatoform disorders, attachment issues, and the distinct features of EMDR that have allowed it to be used for crisis intervention worldwide. Dr. Francine Shapiro is the originator and developer of EMDR. She is a senior research fellow at the Mental Research Institute (MRI) in Palo Alto, California, executive director of the EMDR Institute in Watsonville, California, and the founder and president emeritus of the EMDR Humanitarian Assistance Program, a nonprofit organization that coordinates disaster response and supports low fee training worldwide. She has written the primary text on EMDR: Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing: Basic Principles and Procedures (Guilford Press) and co-authored or edited four others: EMDR: The Breakthrough Therapy for Overcoming Anxiety, Stress and Trauma (Basic Books), EMDR as an Integrative Psychotherapy Approach: Experts of Diverse Orientations Explore the Paradigm Prism (American Psychological Association Books), Handbook of EMDR and Family Therapy Processes (Wiley), and Short-Term Therapy for Long-Term Change. She has written and co-authored more than 60 articles and chapters and is an invited speaker at psychology conferences all over the world. Dr. Shapiro is a recipient of the American Psychological Association Division 56 Award for Outstanding Contributions to Practice in Trauma Psychology, the Distinguished Scientific Achievement in Psychology Award presented by the California Psychological Association and the International Sigmund Freud Award for Psychotherapy presented by the City of Vienna in conjunction with the World Council of Psychotherapy. She was appointed one of the “Cadre of Experts” by the American Psychological Association and Canadian Psychological Association Joint Initiative on Ethno-political Warfare. She has served as an advisor to many trauma treatment and outreach organizations and journals. She has three awards bestowed in her honor. Those given by the EMDR International Association and the EMDR-Ibero-American Association celebrate members of the EMDR community who follow in her footsteps of creative thinking, service, and dedication to the standard of EMDR. The EMDR Europe Association presents the Francine Shapiro EMDR-Europe Research Award in order to encourage research in the field. In 2008, a comprehensive electronic resource for scholarly articles and other important references related to EMDR and adaptive information processing was introduced and was named The Francine Shapiro Library in honor of Dr. Shapiro (






Marilyn Luber
Francine Shapiro

Original Work Citation

Luber, M., & Shapiro, F. (2009). Interview with Francine Shapiro: Historical overview, present issues, and future directions of EMDR. Journal of EMDR Practice and Research, 3(4), 217-231. doi:10.1891/1933-3196.3.4.217



“Interview with Francine Shapiro: Historical overview, present issues, and future directions of EMDR,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed October 30, 2020,

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