The Effects of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing on Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

This literature review examines the effects of Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) on Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The dates of the studies used in this review are from 1998 to 2005. The participants‘ ages ranged from 8 to 70 years old. These studies compare EMDR to Exposure Therapy (ET) with relaxation training, Prolonged Exposure (PE), combination of psychotherapy and EMDR, Biofeedback, Stress Inoculation, Cognitive Restructuring and Wait-List. In general, it appears that EMDR in its traditional form, EMDR-RDI and EMDR in the context of traditional psychology, is effective in treating PTSD in adults, as well as children. Results of one study, however, demonstrated that Exposure Therapy was more efficacious in treating PTSD than EMDR and Relaxation Training. Furthermore, this study yielded a higher proportion of participants that no longer met the DSM-IV-TR criteria for PTSD.

Vicki Hessler
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