A review of the treatment components and effectiveness of EMDR in PTSD
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is treated psychologically with exposure and cognitive restructuring techniques. Shapiro's (1995) Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) treatment for PTSD involves imaginal exposure, cognitive restructuring, and rapid eye movements (EMs). EMDR has been presented as au advance in the treatment of PTSD, based on the theory that rapid EMs facilitate the accelerated processing of trauma-related information, via the activation of physiological mechanisms which stimulate retrieval of positive memories and emotions (Shapiro, 1995). It is suggested in this literature review that Shapiro's EMs theories are unsound, and that claims that EMDR is superior to traditional PTSD treatments are premature, but it is proposed that EMDR may have therapeutic benefits in treating PTSD. It is suggested that the exposure and cognitive restructuring components of EMDR may be more critical than the EMs in reducing PTSD symptoms. However, the EMs may facilitate client acceptance of these components by distracting clients from their anxiety and reducing the intensity of imaginal exposure. Alternative theories of the role of eye movements in EMDR need to be investigated in future research.
Original Work Citation
Fraser, J. M. (1998, November). A review of the treatment components and effectiveness of EMDR in PTSD. (Master's thesis, University of Tasmania). Retrieved from http://ecite.utas.edu.au/18197
“A review of the treatment components and effectiveness of EMDR in PTSD,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed July 29, 2021, https://emdria.omeka.net/items/show/22421.