Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing EMDR

EMDR is a new treatment technique that has received a modest amount of empirical attention. The basic approach includes recognition of images and memories related to the traumatic experience, the psychological problems associated with these images and memories, the development of an alternative mode of interpreting these images and memories, observing the physiological effects of these images and memories on the individual, remaining focused on a corrective appraisal of these images and memories, and the repetition of lateral eye movements as the patient concentrates on aspects of the traumatic experience (Keane & Barlow, 2002). In a clinical trial involving Vietnam theater veterans that compared EMDR to relaxation training, biofeedback, and a comparison group, EMDR subjects did better across all variables measured (Silver, Brooks, & Obenchain, 1995). The components of EMDR include exposure and cognitive interventions, yet research has yet to support the inclusion of the eye movements as factors influencing efficacy (Davidson & Parker, 2001).

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