Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in combat veterans
EMDR was introduced as a treatment modality about twenty five years ago (Shapiro, 1989). EMDR has eight treatment phases. The first three stages include: 1) history taking; 2) preparation (introduction to the EMDR protocol, coping strategies and affect management techniques) and 3) assessment (bringing to mind an image of a traumatic incident, identifying beliefs and emotions associated with that incident, rating the degree of disturbance felt in recalling the traumatic incident, and rating the validity of preferred cognitions about oneself). During the next phase desensitization the core component of the intervention is implemented. It involves using a dual attention/bilateral stimulation procedure that aims to reprocess the disturbing emotions and cognitions associated with the traumatic incident. The client is instructed to keep in mind the image, beliefs and cognitions while simultaneously visually tracking the therapist’ s fingers as they are moved back and forth in front of the client in a prescribed manner. (Bilateral tactile taps or auditory tones are used instead of eye movements for clients who have difficulty visually tracking.) Bilateral stimulation is also used during the next two phases - installation and body scan - which aim to install a positive cognition to replace the negative cognition associated with the trauma and to reprocess any remaining bodily sensations. During the next phase closure the client is advised about what to do between sessions if experiencing distress. The final phase re-evaluation occurs at the start of the next session and involves identifying and reprocessing any residual material from the previous session or that arose between sessions. The length of treatment sessions varies, but typically lasts from 60 to 90 minutes. The number of treatment sessions also varies, ranging between 5 and 15 sessions. [Excerpt]
Original Work Citation
Albright, D. L., Thyer, B., Becker, B. J., & Rubin, A. (2011, November). Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in combat veterans. Oslow, Norway: The Campbell Collaboration. Retrieved from https://campbellcollaboration.org/media/k2/attachments/Albright_EMDR_Protocol.pdfwww.campbellcollaboration.org on 2/16/2012
“Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in combat veterans,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed October 22, 2020, https://emdria.omeka.net/items/show/21264.