Eye-movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy for PTSD


Eye-movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is a comprehensive psychotherapy intervention with empirically validated efficacy in the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder. Although treatment is usually provided individually on a once-weekly basis, research has shown that EMDR can be effectively provided in an intensive manner (e.g., twice daily for 4 or 5 days a week for 1 or 2 weeks). EMDR group treatment is often provided to groups of children or adults following a disaster and to transient refugees. In such settings, one or two sessions provide rapid, efficient treatment and allow for screening and identification of clients who require more intensive individual treatment. EMDR therapy is an eight-phase, three-pronged protocol. The three prongs are past, present, and future. The eight phases are: history-taking and treatment planning; preparation; assessment; desensitization; installation; body scan; closure; and reevaluation. This chapter presents a case that outlines and illustrates these eight phases of treatment.


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Louise Maxfield
Roger M. Solomon
E. C. Hurley

Original Work Citation

Maxfield, L., Solomon, R. M., & Hurley, E. C. (2020). Eye-movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy for PTSD. In L. F. Bufka, C. V. Wright, & R. W. Halfond (Eds.), Casebook to the APA Clinical Practice Guideline for the treatment of PTSD (p. 163–186). American Psychological Association. https://doi.org/10.1037/0000196-008


“Eye-movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy for PTSD,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed October 29, 2020, https://emdria.omeka.net/items/show/26494.

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