Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) has been established as an efficacious therapy for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The working mechanism of the procedure is, however, still partly unknown. It is therefore important to explore the physiological effects of eye movements and alternative bilateral stimulation. This article describes our research on the effects of eye movements during authentic EMDR sessions of chronic PTSD in refugees with war and torture experiences and places this research in the context of other findings. The findings point to definite physiological effects of eye movements; namely a dearousal with increased finger temperature and changes in the balance between the parasympathetic and sympathetic autonomous nervous systems.
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Copyright © 2008 EMDR International Association
Söndergaard, H. P., & Elofsson, U. (2008). Psychophysiological Studies of EMDR. Journal of EMDR Practice and Research, 2(4), 282–288. https://doi.org/10.1891/1933-3126.96.36.1992
Journal of EMDR Practice and Research