Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR)


Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) was developed in the late 1980s as a treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder. Since then the therapy has been shown to be efficacious for this and other disorders. It is broadly disseminated and widely practiced. There are several controversies surrounding this therapy. Though eye movements were originally proposed to be an important active component of the intervention, several studies have called that claim into question. Questions remain, including what the mechanisms of action are for EMDR, how distinctive this therapy is from other interventions that include exposure and information-processing components, and what training is needed to be technically proficient? Moreover, use of EMDR for memory recovery poses significant risk, as it incorporates many features that memory researchers have shown to promote development of false memories. Keywords: EMDR; information processing and cognitions; psychotherapies; eye movement; post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)


Book Section




William C. Follette
Anthony Papa
Deborah Davis

Original Work Citation

Follette, W. C., Papa, A., & Davis, D. (2015, January). Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR). In The Encyclopedia of Clinical Psychology. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons. doi:10.1002/9781118625392.wbecp525



“Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR),” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed December 8, 2021, https://emdria.omeka.net/items/show/25612.

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