What is the value of eye movements in positive verbal material?


EMDR seems to be working through taxation of the working memory. A large amount of research has been carried out demonstrating that vividness and emotionality of negative images declines when working memory is taxed while the charged image is retrieved simultaneously. Research also shows this effect on positive images, meaning that these become less positive. In the Netherlands, as in some other countries, a procedure called ‘Positive Termination’ at the end of the EMDR-session is used. In this procedure positive verbal material is used while eye movements are performed at the same time. The patient is asked what the most valuable thing he has learned about himself during the last session with regard to the theme or event that was being treated. Once a positive ‘I-statement’ is made (e.g. I’m powerful) eye movements are carried out. However, the efficacy of these eye movements in this procedure has never been tested. To study the effect of eye movements on positive verbal material two studies using undergraduates were conducted. Study participants were exposed to two conditions, one with and one without eye movements. The results of these studies will be presented and discussed.






Suzy Matthijssen

Original Work Citation

Matthijssen, S. (2014, June). What is the value of eye movements in positive verbal material? In EMDR research symposium (Netherlands track) (Ad de Jongh, Chair). Symposium presented at the 15th EMDR Europe Association Conference, Edinburgh, Scotland



“What is the value of eye movements in positive verbal material?,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed October 22, 2020, https://emdria.omeka.net/items/show/22906.

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