Cautions for Clients and Clinicians
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A Brief Description of EMDR Therapy
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The benefits of eye movements used in EMDR are still under investigation. The Department of Veterans Affairs & Department of Defense Practice Guidelines http://www.oqp.med.va.gov/cpg/PTSD/PTSD_cpg/frameset.htm
have stated that evidence the eye movements are NOT effective is flawed. They also cite 8 controlled studies that show eye movements decrease the negative effects of emotions and imagery. These studies are:
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.
Barrowcliff, Gray, Freeman, MacCulloch (2004) Eye-movements reduce the vividness, emotional valence and electrodermal arousal associated with negative autobiographical memories. Journal of Forensic Psychiatry and Psychology, 15, 325-345.
Barrowcliff, A.L., Gray, N.S., MacCulloch, S., Freeman, T. C.A., & MacCulloch, M.J. (2003) Horizontal rhythmical eye-movements consistently diminish the arousal provoked by auditory stimuli British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 42, 289-302
Christman, S. D., Garvey, K. J., Propper, R. E., & Phaneuf, K. A. (2003). Bilateral eye movements enhance the retrieval of episodic memories. Neuropsychology. 17, 221-229.
Kavanagh, D. J., Freese, S., Andrade, J., & May, J. (2001). Effects of visuospatial tasks on desensitization to emotive memories. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 40, 267-280.
Kuiken, D., Bears, M., Miall, D., & Smith, L. (2001-2002). Eye movement desensitization reprocessing facilitates attentional orienting. Imagination, Cognition and Personality, 21, (1), 3-20.
Sharpley, C. F. Montgomery, I. M., & Scalzo, L. A. (1996). Comparative efficacy of EMDR and alternative procedures in reducing the vividness of mental images. Scandinavian Journal of Behaviour Therapy, 25, 37-42.
van den Hout, M., Muris, P., Salemink, E., & Kindt, M. (2001). Autobiographical memories become less vivid and emotional after eye movements. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 40, 121-130.