What do clients say about their experiences of EMDR in the research literature? A systematic review and thematic synthesis of qualitative research papers

Description

Background:
Eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR) has been shown to be effective in case studies and efficacious in randomised controlled trials for a number of psychological conditions, most notably trauma. Limited research, however, has investigated what clients say about their experiences of EMDR. Therefore, this systematic review aims to assess qualitative empirical studies about clients’ experiences of EMDR.

Data sources:
5 qualitative papers met the inclusion criteria and passed the quality assessment protocol for analysis and synthesis following perusal of the abstracts of 27 empirical studies from a pool of 2489 articles retrieved using key-word searches related to EMDR from 5 electronic academic databases (ASSIA, ERIC, PsycINFO, SCOPUS and Web of Science).

Data synthesis:
Thematic synthesis was applied to the data to generate over-arching concepts encompassing the primary studies about what clients say about their experiences of EMDR.

Results:
4 super-ordinate themes (and 16 sub-themes emerged from the data): EMDR changes a person, necessary conditions for EMDR to effect change, EMDR method as agent of change and EMDR therapist as agent of change.

Conclusion:
EMDR is talked about in a transformative manner, there are conditions which need to be present for EMDR to work and there is an interplay between the EMDR method and therapist as agents of change. Thus, in practice, a pluralistic approach, rather than exclusive reliance on the method, where EMDR protocols, based upon the client’s requirements, are incorporated as a method to carry out the therapeutic tasks to achieve therapeutic goals is supported by this review. In research, the relative paucity of the current qualitative data could be addressed by engaging counselling psychologists, as scientific enquirers and artistic therapists, to expand research into clients’ experiences of EMDR.

Format

Journal

Language

English

Author(s)

James Whitehouse

Original Work Citation

Collection

Citation

“What do clients say about their experiences of EMDR in the research literature? A systematic review and thematic synthesis of qualitative research papers,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed January 24, 2021, https://emdria.omeka.net/items/show/25849.

Output Formats