Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences

Living Edition
| Editors: Virgil Zeigler-Hill, Todd K. Shackelford

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

  • Lawrence PatihisEmail author
  • Cristobal S. Cruz
  • Richard J. McNally
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-28099-8_895-1
  • 81 Downloads

Synonyms

Introduction

Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is a therapy designed to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It requires clients to retrieve a traumatic memory and to visually track the therapist’s finger as he or she moves it back and forth in front of the client’s eyes. The aim is to desensitize the client to traumatic memories such that their recollection ceases to provoke intense emotional distress EMDR also involves reprocessing and reappraising thoughts related to the events. It resembles other cognitive-behavioral therapies for PTSD, such as prolonged imaginal exposure, except that EMDR involves repeated, brief exposures to the memory as well as induction of bilateral eye movements hypothesized to facilitate emotional processing and recovery. Controlled studies indicate that EMDR is more efficacious for PTSD than no treatment and similarly effective as some exposure and cognitive...

Keywords

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Negative Cognition Traumatic Memory Memory Reconsolidation Imaginal Exposure 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References

  1. Andrade, J., Kavanagh, D., & Baddeley, A. (1997). Eye-movements and visual imagery: A working memory approach to the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 36, 209–223.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Bisson, J. I., Ehlers, A., Mathews, A., Pilling, S., Richards, D., & Turner, S. (2007). Psychological treatments for chronic post-traumatic stress disorder: Systematic review and meta-analysis. British Journal of Psychiatry, 190, 97–104.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Bradley, R., Greene, J., Russ, E., Dutra, L., & Westen, D. (2005). A multidimensional meta-analysis of psychotherapy for PTSD. American Journal of Psychiatry, 162, 214–227.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Davidson, P. R., & Parker, K. C. (2001). Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR): A meta-analysis. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 69, 305–316.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Devilly, G. J. (2001). The roles of popularised distraction during exposure and researcher allegiance during outcome trials. The Behavior Therapist, 24, 18–21.Google Scholar
  6. Devilly, G. J., Ono, M., & Lohr, J. M. (2014). The use of meta-analytic software to derive hypotheses for EMDR. Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 45, 223–225.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Gunter, R. W., & Bodner, G. E. (2008). How eye movements affect unpleasant memories: Support for a working-memory account. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 46, 913–931.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Herbert, J. D., Lilienfeld, S. O., Lohr, J. M., Montgomery, R. W., O’Donohue, W. T., Rosen, G. M., & Tolin, D. F. (2000). Science and pseudoscience in the development of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing: Implications for clinical psychology. Clinical Psychology Review, 20, 945–971.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. van den Hout, M. A., & Engelhard, I. M. (2012). How does EMDR work? Journal of Experimental Psychopathology, 3, 724–738.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. van den Hout, M. A., Engelhard, I. M., Rijkeboer, M., Koekebakker, J., Hornsveld, H., Leer, A., et al. (2011). EMDR: Eye movements superior to beeps in taxing working memory and reducing vividness of recollections. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 49, 92–98.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Kindt, M., & Soeter, M. (2013). Reconsolidation in a human fear conditioning study: A test of extinction as updating mechanism. Biological Psychology, 92, 43–50.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Lee, C. W., & Cuijpers, P. (2013). A meta-analysis of the contribution of eye movements in processing emotional memories. Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 44, 231–239.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Lee, C. W., & Cuijpers, P. (2014). What does [sic] the data say about the importance of eye movement in EMDR? Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 45, 226–228.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Liu, G., & McNally, R. J. (2017). Neutral mood induction during reconsolidation reduces accuracy, but not vividness and anxiety of emotional episodic memories. Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 54, 1–8.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Macklin, M. L., Metzger, L. J., Lasko, N. B., Berry, N. J., Orr, S. P., & Pitman, R. K. (2000). Five-year follow-up study of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy for combat-related posttraumatic stress disorder. Comprehensive Psychiatry, 41, 24–27.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. McNally, R. J. (1999). On eye movements and animal magnetism: A reply to Greenwald’s defense of EMDR. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 13, 617–620.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Nader, K., Schafe, G. E., & LeDoux, J. E. (2000). Fear memories require protein synthesis in the amygdala for reconsolidation after retrieval. Nature, 406, 722–726.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Samara, Z., Elzinga, B. M., Slagter, H. A., & Nieuwenhuis, S. (2011). Do horizontal saccadic eye movements increase interhemispheric coherence? Investigation of a hypothesized neural mechanism underlying EMDR. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 2, 4. doi:10.3389/fpsyt.2011.00004.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  19. Seidler, G. H., & Wagner, F. E. (2006). Comparing the efficacy of EMDR and trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy in the treatment of PTSD: A meta-analytic study. Psychological Medicine, 36, 1515–1522.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Shapiro, F. (1989). Efficacy of the eye movement desensitization procedure in the treatment of traumatic memories. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 2, 199–223.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Shapiro, F. (2001). Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing: Basic principles, protocols and procedures (2nd ed.). New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  22. Shapiro, F., & Forrest, M. S. (2004). EMDR: The breakthrough therapy for overcoming anxiety, stress, and trauma. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  23. Watts, B. V., Schnurr, P. P., Mayo, L., Young-Xu, Y., Weeks, W. B., & Friedman, M. J. (2013). Meta-analysis of the efficacy of treatments for posttraumatic stress disorder. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 74, 541–550.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lawrence Patihis
    • 1
    Email author
  • Cristobal S. Cruz
    • 1
  • Richard J. McNally
    • 2
  1. 1.University of Southern MississippiHattiesburgUSA
  2. 2.Harvard UniversityCambridgeUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Bradley A. Green
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Southern MississippiHattiesburgUSA