EMDR has been characterized as pseudoscience, because the underlying theory is unfalsifiable. In addition, the results of therapy are not specific, especially if the eye movement component is irrelevant to the results. Can moving your eyes back and forth help ease anxiety? Like other psychotherapies, EMDR was a creation of chance. One day in 1987, Francine Shapiro, a California psychologist in private practice, went out for a walk in the woods.
I had been worried about a series of disturbing thoughts. However, he found that his anxiety rose after moving his eyes back and forth while observing his surroundings. Intrigued, Shapiro tried variants of this procedure with her clients and found that they were feeling better too. Numerous controlled studies show that EMDR produces more improvement than the absence of treatment, at least to relieve symptoms of PTSD in civilians, such as those triggered by rape.
Evidence related to the effectiveness of EMDR for other anxiety disorders is promising, but preliminary. The effects of EMDR are more marked on self-reported measures of anxiety; its impact on physiological measures related to anxiety (such as heart rate) is less clear. When scientists compared EMDR to imaginary exposure, they found little or no difference. Nor have they found that EMDR works faster than imaginary exposure.
Most researchers have taken these findings to mean that EMDR results are derived from exposure, as this treatment requires clients to view traumatic images repeatedly. Finally, researchers have found scant evidence that EMDR's eye movements are contributing anything to its effectiveness. When researchers compared EMDR to a “fixed eye movement” condition, in which clients keep their eyes fixed forward, they have found no difference between the conditions. In light of these findings, the panoply of hypotheses invoked for EMDR eye movements seems to be “explanations in search of a phenomenon”.
More worryingly, in recent years, therapists have claimed that EMDR effectively treats everything from major depression to schizophrenia. These claims are not supported by research at all. The only treatment where EMDR has been shown to be more effective than traditional psychotherapy is PTSD. Any other claims made by EMDR professionals are not based on any convincing research or psychological science for that matter.
Shapiro first described his findings, was misquoted as saying that EMDR (then called EMD) could cure traumatic memory in one session. That wasn't true, but it started a wave of debate about whether eye movements could be so powerful. You should have had a conversation with someone familiar with EMDR, how it works and what its known and accepted limitations are. As a result, EMDR came into fashion like wildfire and was quickly adopted by the Veterans Administration due to promising efficacy studies.
As mentioned above, some of its challenges reveal misinformation about how EMDR therapy is carried out. In addition, these statements repeat criticisms of EMDR that occurred in writings by critics of EMDR some 20 years ago, but which have been largely discredited. Unfortunately, all too often, therapists who do not adhere to the eight phases and three prongs of EMDR therapy with fidelity skip the important work of focusing on the present and the future; they harm their client and limit the effectiveness of the therapy. With regard to cross-cultural issues, EMDR therapy has been found to be effective in other cultures, as it respects each client's own values and focuses on experiences that contribute to the client's difficulty (not necessarily Western notions of “trauma”), works with “perception” rather than fact.
objective”, and accessing the client's innate system to process the experience. Since my 1996 Skeptical Inquirer article on EMDR was published, a tremendous amount of well-controlled research has been published on this treatment. In addition, studies consistently demonstrate that eye movements or other forms of lateralized stimulation of EMDR are irrelevant to its therapeutic effects (Davidson %26 Parker, 2001; Herbert et al. To clarify, I have been trained in the EMDR Level 1 program and have also gone through the process as a customer.
In addition, in some American cities, psychotherapists are proud to include their EMDR certifications in their Yellow Pages ads. I've also had an intense (and expensive) couple of months of doing EMDR with a therapist who I respect, like, and trust a lot. Since its development, EMDR has spread to many problems other than PTSD, including phobias, generalized anxiety, paranoid schizophrenia, learning problems, eating disorders, substance abuse, and even pathological jealousy (Beere 1992; Marquis 1991; Shapiro 1989b). In contrast, Montgomery and Ayllon (1994a) reported that EMDR produced significant decreases in SUD levels and client reports of PTSD symptoms, while a control procedure consisting of EMDR fewer eye movements did not.
EMDR is an evidence-based therapy that is primarily used to treat post-traumatic stress (PTSD), but as it gains momentum in mental health circles, indications for its use are constantly expanding. It is impossible to determine to what extent published cases of EMDR treatment, which are almost all successful, are representative of all cases treated with this procedure. . .