An investigation into therapists’ beliefs about how eye movement desensitization & reprocessing (EMDR) works in clinical practice: Do the eyes have it?
These were subject to statistical analysis using Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) and Chi-Square tests to examine the relationships between Questionnaire items for significance. A total of 9 subjects agreed to be interviewed regarding their EMDR practice and integration issues. This qualititative data was content analyzed. No differences were found between both groups on Biodata factors, years of experience as a Therapist or years using EMDR which gives further confidence in the results when comparing both cohorts. Results: Respondents endorsed two types of explanation as to why they believed EMDR works (ie) EMDR facilitates communication between the Limbic system and Frontal Lobes (77%) and Adaptive Information Processing (73%). This suggests that Therapists are not just following Shapiro’s AIP model slavishly but are rather making up their own minds. There were no significant differences between Analytic, CBT, Integrative and Humanistic Therapists in terms of explanatory mechanisms endorsed about EMDR’s “active ingredient”. CBT Therapists found it easier to incorporate EMDR into their clinical practice than Analytic or Humanist Therapists. This finding was supported by the results of the qualitative interview data. Indeed, up to 40% of Therapists sampled experienced difficulties in integrating EMDR into their clinical practice, post training. The types of difficulties identified included: Differences in theoretical beliefs, more active style of EMDR, structure of EMDR Protocol, Therapist confidence issues, Organizational issues and hostility from clinical colleagues, bullying, lack of supervision and support post training. Conclusions: The results of this study confirm findings from earlier studies regarding Therapists’ beliefs about EMDR but also extend those finding internationally so that previous findings can now be accepted as universal given that this present study contained respondents from three other continents other than North America. This study also found that up to 40% of Therapists trained in EMDR experienced significant difficulties in integrating EMDR into their clinical practice post-training. Analytic and Humanist Therapists reported the biggest difficulties which included conflict with the Therapists’ original theoretical model, the EMDR Protocol structure itself, Therapist confidence and lack of supervision and support, Organizational and Management issues of opposition to EMDR and Therapist Bullying. The implications for EMDR training are discussed and communicated to relevant EMDR Training Organizations.
Original Work Citation
Dunne, T. (2010, March). An investigation into therapists? beliefs about how eye movement desensitization & reprocessing (EMDR) works in clinical practice: Do the eyes have it? Poster presented at the 8th EMDR Association UK & Ireland Annual Conference & AGM, Dublin, Ireland
“An investigation into therapists’ beliefs about how eye movement desensitization & reprocessing (EMDR) works in clinical practice: Do the eyes have it?,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed August 1, 2021, https://emdria.omeka.net/items/show/19918.