Cultural themes and discourse in EMDR therapy


This research study examined 56 eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) clinician responses to a case vignette to explore the question of how a sample of EMDR clinicians integrated the role of culture in EMDR therapy. A combination of basic interpretive and discourse analysis qualitative research methods examined participant responses to an online survey posting the vignette and several open-ended response questions. Results found that EMDR clinicians generally view the EMDR standard procedures as being flexible enough to meet client needs independent of cultural considerations. However, when prompted, the respondents were able to provide concrete examples of culture's potential influence. Furthermore, some implicit patterns of English language use suggested that there may be areas where more intentional reflection of the intersection of culture and EMDR may be warranted. The study serves as a catalyst for future inquiry on cultural issues in EMDR and validation of qualitative analytic strategies for EMDR research. The participants' responses also allowed an evaluation of how they conceptualized EMDR therapy and how they discussed EMDR with their clients. Identified themes included reflections on universality, reflections on cultural influences on treatment, individual differences in cultural identity, clinician identity interacting with treatment, EMDR process, and implicit cultural aspects of treatment.






Jeff DiNard
Sylvia Marotta-Walters

Original Work Citation

DiNardo, J., & Marotta-Walters, S.  (2019). Cultural themes and discourse in EMDR therapy.  Journal of EMDR Practice and Research, 13(2), 111-123.  doi:10.1891/1933-3196.13.2.111



“Cultural themes and discourse in EMDR therapy,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed November 27, 2021,

Output Formats