International Journal of Stress Management

, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp 87-101

First online:

Single Session Treatment of Test Anxiety with Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

  • Louise Maxfield
  • , W. T. Melnyk

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One session of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) appeared to be an effective treatment for test anxiety, reducing reported physiological distress, worry, and fears of negative evaluation. The research design included two components: a comparison study, comparing Immediate Treatment and Wait List groups, and a replication study, comparing the treatment response of Immediate and Delayed (Treated Wait List) groups. Seventeen test anxious university students were randomly assigned to one session of EMDR or Wait List. At post-test, the Immediate group demonstrated significant improvement, compared to the Wait List group, on the Test Anxiety Inventory (TAI) and Fear of Negative Evaluation Scale. Treatment effects were maintained at follow-up. The Wait List group received treatment after post-measures were taken. Treatment of the Delayed group replicated effects. Improvement was reflected by large treatment effect sizes and a decrease in percentile ranking on the TAI from the 90th to the 50th percentile.

test anxiety Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) students treatment outcome