Effectiveness of a 5-day EMDR treatment for PTSD


In treating clients for the past 2 years using EMDR for several consecutive days, it was identified there was a substantial decrease in PTSD symptoms additionally changes with an increase in emotional stability, positive outlook and overall positive change in personality. To support these findings I conducted a pilot study using 8 participants. Each of the 8 participants was assessed for candidacy for EMDR, and upon meeting the criteria they were treated with a 5-Day EMDR intensive therapy regimen. The 5 consecutive days of therapy consisted of 5 ninety-minute sessions and were dependent on the needs of each individual participant, and in following the EMDR guidelines for client safety included psychotherapy and EGO state work. All participants were treated for PTSD symptoms and treated with EMDR therapy. This was a repeated measures study in which all participants were tested for PTSD before and after using the (PCL) PTSD checklist. This study ran for approximately 3-6 months. The participants were given the PTSD checklist before treatment began, after 5 days of treatment, and again 3 months after that time. The treatment was designed to measure a single trauma event. I was the sole facilitator for this study; a research consultant (DL) was brought in to assist with the research design, methods, statistical analysis and publication for professional journals. Symptoms of PTSD were assessed and noted for all 5 days of treatment. Additionally all 8 participants were administered the (CAPS) Clinician Administered PTSD Scale which measures frequency and intensity of responses to traumatic events which the participants report experiencing during the past week, during the past month, and during their lifetimes, on a variety of scales, before 2 treatment, after immediately following the 5 consecutive days also upon a 3 month follow up. For purposes of this study, their responses on two scales were used: Reexperiencing Symptoms and Avoidance and Numbing Symptoms. Taken collectively, the results indicated a profound effect of the 5-day EMDR treatment in reducing both frequency and intensity of PTSD symptomology, as indexed by reexperiencing symptoms and avoidance and numbing symptoms.






Mcayla Sarno
Daniel Levison

Original Work Citation

Sarno, M., & Levison, D. (2013). Effectiveness of a 5-day EMDR treatment for PTSD. Authors



“Effectiveness of a 5-day EMDR treatment for PTSD,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed July 30, 2021, https://emdria.omeka.net/items/show/22477.

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