What is EMDR?: Commentary by Greenwald and invited response by Shapiro


Greenwald: Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) has already been defi ned by at least one EMDR-focused professional association as inextricably based on Shapiro’s (2001) eight-phase protocol and adaptive information processing (AIP) model. This commentary argues that given the lack of data supporting an exclusive preference for Shapiro’s constructs, EMDR’s defi nition should not preclude legitimate alternative conceptualizations. Since defi nitions may be used for many inclusive and exclusive purposes with impact on EMDR’s development, dissemination, practice, and reputation, EMDR’s defi nition should be reconsidered. Shapiro : Greenwald’s arguments and suggested redefi nition are examined in relation to EMDR research, theory and practice. As evaluated in numerous studies, EMDR is a distinct, eight-phase integrative psychotherapy approach that consists of numerous procedures and protocols, which were formulated and are conducted in accordance with the principles of the AIP model. Research and published clinical case reports have validated both its utility and predictions of positive treatment outcomes with a variety of populations. Professional implications are explored.






Ricky Greenwald
Francine Shapiro

Original Work Citation

Greenwald, R., & Shapiro, F. (2010). What is EMDR?: Commentary by Greenwald and invited response by Shapiro. Journal of EMDR Practice and Research, 4(4), 170-179. doi:10.1891/19333196.4.4.170



“What is EMDR?: Commentary by Greenwald and invited response by Shapiro,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed August 1, 2021, https://emdria.omeka.net/items/show/20388.

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