Given that 2019 marks the 30th anniversary of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy, the purpose of this article is to summarize the current empirical evidence in support of EMDR therapy as an effective treatment intervention for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Currently, there are more than 30 randomized controlled trials (RCT) demonstrating the effectiveness in patients with this debilitating mental health condition, thus providing a robust evidence base for EMDR therapy as a first-choice treatment for PTSD. Results from several meta-analyses further suggest that EMDR therapy is equally effective as its most important trauma-focused comparator, that is, trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy, albeit there are indications from some studies that EMDR therapy might be more efficient and cost-effective. There is emerging evidence showing that EMDR treatment of patients with psychiatric disorders, such as psychosis, in which PTSD is comorbid, is also safe, effective, and efficacious. In addition to future well-crafted RCTs in areas such as combat-related PTSD and psychiatric disorders with comorbid PTSD, RCTs with PTSD as the primary diagnosis remain pivotal in further demonstrating EMDR therapy as a robust treatment intervention.
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Copyright © 2019 EMDR International Association
de Jongh, A., Amann, B. L., Hofmann, A., Farrell, D., & Lee, C. W. (2019). The Status of EMDR Therapy in the Treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder 30 Years After Its Introduction. Journal of EMDR Practice and Research, 13(4), 261–269. https://doi.org/10.1891/1933-3126.96.36.1991
Journal of EMDR Practice and Research