EMDR was developed by Francine Shapiro
Controlled studies of victims of Vietnam combat, rape, molestation, accident,
catastrophic loss and natural disaster indicate that the method is capable
of a rapid desensitization of traumatic memories, including a cognitive
restructuring and a significant reduction of client symptoms (e.g., emotional
distress, intrusive thoughts, flashbacks and nightmares. There are more
controlled studies to date on EMDR than on any other method used in the
treatment of trauma. A literature review indicated only six other controlled
clinical outcome studies (excluding drugs) in the entire field of PTSD
(Solomon, Gerrity, and Muff, 1992).
EMDR was developed by Francine Shapiro, Ph.D. in 1988, and to date over 15,000 licensed mental health therapists in thirty eight countries have been trained. Because a clinical background is necessary for the effective application of EMDR, workshops are limited to mental health professionals who are licensed or certified to provide treatment. Training is considered mandatory for appropriate use (Shapiro, 1991b). EMDR is a specialized approach and method that requires supervised training for full therapeutic effectiveness and client safety. Clients are at risk if untrained clinicians attempt to use EMDR (Behavior Therapist, 1991). From the EMDR website http://www.emdr.com/index.html
"Bombing Survivors Try Unusual Therapy", THE JOURNAL RECORD, June 21, 1995
to rid himself of nightmares about the federal building bombing, Greg
Pruitt settled into a chair and watched his therapist's fingers move
rhythmically from side to side. As Pruitt discussed the sights and
smells he encountered while participating in the rescue effort, the
volunteer therapist asked him to rank his negative feelings on a scale
of 1 to 10, then to focus on the worst.
Interview with Francine Shapiro
Here is what
Dr. Shapiro says about EMDR, and how it works from an article in "Treating
*EMDR: Unblocking the Mind's Natural Healing Process: An Interview With
Francine Shapiro, Ph.D
I have found that this reprocessing aspect of EMDR, is not only useful in overcoming trauma, but it also seems to be successful, in helping people who are stuck in non-productive behavior patterns. EMDR is also effective with habit control, such as weight loss, smoking and other self destructive habits. Unfortunately, this does not extend to chemical dependency, which I feel is a disease, and does not seem to be helped by EMDR. However EMDR, can reduce the impact of certain triggers for a recovering person, making it easier to stay sober or clean.
The EMDR technique is most effective when used in conjunction with other traditional methods of therapy in treating these and many other emotional disorders.
EMDR therapy can help clients replace their anxiety and fear with positive images, emotions and thoughts.
In just one or two sessions EMDR can achieve the results that would take a year or more of traditional talk therapy. It has been frequently called an emotional stain remover.