Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is a widely used evidence-based treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The mental processes underlying both PTSD and EMDR treatment effects are often explained by drawing on processes that involve the automatic formation and change of mental associations. Recent evidence that contrasts with these explanations is discussed and a new perspective to PTSD and EMDR treatment effects is proposed that draws on automatic inferential processes and can be readily integrated with the dominant (Adaptive Information Processing) model. This new perspective incorporates insights from cognitive theories that draw on predictive processing and goal-directed processes to elucidate (changes in) automatic inferences that underlie PTSD symptoms and EMDR treatment effects. Recommendations for clinical practice are provided based on this new perspective.
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Vanderschoot, T., & Van Dessel, P. (2022). Journal of EMDR Practice and Research, 16(3), 108–122. https://doi.org/10.1891/EMDR-2022-0009
Journal of EMDR Practice and Research