Numerous controlled studies show that EMDR produces more improvements than the absence of treatment, at least to alleviate symptoms of civil PTSD, such as those triggered by rape. Evidence related to the effectiveness of EMDR for other anxiety disorders is promising but preliminary. The answer seems to be yes, with one caveat. As a result, eye movements and reprocessing techniques do not represent a therapeutic innovation, as advocates of EMDR claim.
Rather, they represent little more than sales tricks that can be used to market therapy. Some skeptics have attributed the positive results of EMDR to the fact that the basic therapeutic principles are in a caring environment and have the opportunity to speak, and have discarded eye movements and hand ringing as simple tricks. Coates was involved in eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), a form of therapy in which a patient relives a traumatic event while tracking a stimulus that alternates from side to side. In addition, studies consistently show that eye movements or other forms of lateralized stimulation of EMDR are irrelevant to its therapeutic effects (Davidson %26 Parker, 2001; Herbert et al.
Since the initial report of its use was published in 1989, EMDR has exploded in popularity among professionals. EMDR was discovered by accident in the late 80s by an American psychologist, Francine Shapiro, who noticed that her eye movements, while looking at things on a walk in a park, seemed to reduce negative emotions. Although EMDR technically requires the use of eye movements, Shapiro (1994a) stated that he has successfully used the technique with blind clients by replacing hearing tones with movements of the therapist's finger. In fact, based on a systematic review of the research, McNally (199) concluded that “what is effective in EMDR is not new, and what is new is not (p.
support. Unlike exposure therapy, which may require many hours of treatment, EMDR was found to be more effective and required fewer hours of treatment. Consequently, post-EMDR improvements may be due to a delayed effect of the control procedure. As a result, it cannot be determined whether the apparent improvement reported in these cases is attributable to EMDR, ancillary treatments, or both.
Controlled research is consistent in demonstrating that EMDR is superior to the absence of treatment and, most likely, to supportive counseling, for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Because EMDR was not compared to a control procedure involving imaginary exposure, its unique effects cannot be determined. Mental health users should be suspicious of psychotherapists who use EMDR instead of (and not in addition to) standard behavioral and cognitive-behavioral interventions, especially those who claim that EMDR is much more effective and efficient than other interventions. It's called Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and first entered the field of clinical psychology in the late 1980s.