What do clients say about their experiences of eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing therapy? A systematic review of the literature

Description

Background
Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) is an effective treatment for trauma-related distress that continues to gain popularity amongst clinicians. However, within the literature, it is less clear what clients think about the intervention. This review aimed to explore accounts of client experiences of EMDR within published studies and grey literature.

Data sources
Qualitative studies containing accounts of client experiences of EMDR were identified through online database searches; published studies were retrieved from PsycINFO, SCOPUS and Web of Science, whilst grey literature was retrieved from EThOS, OpenGrey and ProQuest. A total of 2451 studies were identified and screened for inclusion in this review; 13 studies met the inclusion criteria and proceeded to quality appraisal and data synthesis.

Data synthesis
Thematic synthesis was used to synthesise data from the results sections of the 13 included studies.

Results
Four super-ordinate themes were identified from the data including ‘EMDR as intervention’, ‘mechanisms of change’, ‘EMDR is transformative, and ‘therapist factors’. These super-ordinate themes comprised 11 subthemes.

Conclusion
EMDR is perceived by clients as producing positive change, yet the mechanisms of how such change is produced appear poorly understood. Some clients perceive the mechanisms of change within EMDR as recognising past trauma and getting to the core of their difficulties, with clients attributing within-session change to bilateral stimulation. However, the findings of this review suggest that EMDR is not a universally positive experience; further exploration and reporting of accounts describing negative client experience is advocated as an important area for future research.

Format

Journal

Language

English

Author(s)

Gemma Shipley
Sarah Wilde
Mark Hudson

Original Work Citation

Shipley, G., Wilde, S., & Hudson, M. (2021, April). What do clients say about their experiences of eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing therapy? A systematic review of the literature. European Journal of Trauma & Dissociation. doi:10.1016/j.ejtd.2021.100226

Collection

Citation

“What do clients say about their experiences of eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing therapy? A systematic review of the literature,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed September 25, 2021, https://emdria.omeka.net/items/show/26776.

Output Formats