EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing) is a psychotherapy that enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the results of disturbing life experiences. Repeated studies show that by using EMDR therapy people can experience the benefits of psychotherapy that once took years to make a difference. As a therapeutic approach, EMDR is on the same par as cognitive behaviour therapy and psychodynamic therapy.
It is composed of a complex methodology applicable to a wide range of disorders. The EMDR approach integrates elements from both psychological theories (e.g., affect, attachment, behavioural, bio-information processing, cognitive, family systems, humanistic, psychodynamic and somatic) and psychotherapies (e.g., body based, cognitive behavioural, interpersonal, personality centred and psychodynamic) into a standardised set of procedures and clinical protocols. Research on how the brain processes information and generates consciousness also informs the evolution of EMDR theory and procedure (see EMDR International Association website, or the EMDR Institute website or EMDR Association of Australia ).
What does the research say about EMDR?
EMDR therapy has been validated by over two dozen randomised control trials (see Research Findings ) and numerous meta-analyses as an effective psychological intervention.
An additional 20 randomised trials and recent meta-analyses have demonstrated the positive effects of the eye movements, including rapid declines in emotional distress. Importantly EMDR has been recommended as an empirically validated effective trauma treatment by a wide range of organisations.