Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing: Initial application for enhancing performance in athletes
The Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) procedure, developed by Francine Shapiro, PhD, was introduced as a new rapid treatment for anxiety and related traumata. In a controlled study (Shapiro, 1989), rape victims and Vietnam veterans experienced a significant decrease in distressing symptoms--flashbacks, ruminating, sleep disturbance, and uncomfortable physiological arousal. Additional outcomes were the subjects cognitive restructuring of what had happened to them. Subsequent research studies reported therapeutic outcomes with a variety of disorders- phobias (Kleinknecht, 1993), panic disorder (Goldstein, 1992), dissociative disorder (Paulsen et el, 1993) and PTSD (Wilson et al, In press). The first author was the first EMDR-trained clinician to apply EMDR in performance enhancement work, beginning with sales professionals. The authors have now used EMDR with nearly sixty Individual athletes ranking from amateur to Olympic hopeful, across several different sports. Their single case findings suggest that EMDR amplifies and accelerates the benefits of standard mental training. Their data indicates EMDR speeds psychological recovery from sport injury and coming back from a loss, adds in working through difficulties with past coaches, reduces fears about competition, and improves overall athletic performance.
Original Work Citation
Foster, S., & Lendl, J. (1995, September). Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing: Initial application for enhancing performance in athletes. Presentation at the Association for the Advancement of Applied Sport Psychology Conference, New Orleans, LA
“Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing: Initial application for enhancing performance in athletes,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed June 14, 2021, https://emdria.omeka.net/items/show/20021.