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A large and growing body of research evidence on EMDR therapy

In summary:

  • Many studies have found EMDR to be as good as or better than cognitive behavioural therapy for traumatic disorders – single traumas, multiple traumas, trauma resulting from natural disaster, treatment of war- and terrorism-related trauma, and mass casualties.
  • EMDR therapy has a positive effect on the whole range of PTSD symptoms, such as intrusions (e.g. nightmares and flashbacks), hyperarousal, avoidance and associated mood changes such as depression.

There are many sources of information about the research evidence for EMDR. The Trauma Recovery EMDR HAP (US) website has a very thorough listing of the research findings.

The Francine Shapiro Library has a wealth of information about EMDR.

Growing body of research on EMDR with Traumatised Communities

Recent articles

A Case report just published in Journal of Neurology and Stroke where EMDR used as part of treatment of a client who survived MI and Depression with suicidal attempts.

From abstract:

A number of studies have demonstrated a relationship between depression and low perceived social support and increased cardiac morbidity and mortality in patients with coronary heart disease. Depression increases the length of hospitalization, diagnostic procedures and the medical care cost.

By: Mevludin Hasanović, Department of Psychiatry, University Clinical Center Tuzla, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Izet Pajević1, School of Medicine University of Tuzla, Tuzla, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Slobodan Pavlovic, Private agency ‘EQ&EQ’ for improving the health life conditions, Tuzla, Bosnia-Herzegovina.

It can be read here.

The acculturation and repatriation problems and school behavioral problems reported from teachers among repatriated refugee adolescents in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

By: Mevludin Hasanović, Department of Psychiatry, University Clinical Center Tuzla, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Izet Pajević1, School of Medicine University of Tuzla, Tuzla, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Slobodan Pavlovic, Private agency ‘EQ&EQ’ for improving the health life conditions, Tuzla, Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Objectives: To describe the acculturation and repatriation problems and school behavior problems reported from teachers who were amidst Bosnia-Herzegovina (BH) repatriated school adolescents who were refugees after the 1992-1995 war, and to analyze possible differences between primary and secondary school students.

PDF Format

Sian Morgan, the president of Trauma Aid UK, co–authored a paper about the work done in Bosnia-Herzegovina

Hasanovic, M., Pajevic, I., Morgan, S., & Kravic, N. (2011). P03-140 – EMDR training for mental health therapists in postwar Bosnia-Herzegovina who work with psychotraumatized population for increasing their psychotherapy capacities. European Psychiatry, 26, Supplement 1(0), 1309. doi:10.1016/S0924-9338(11)73014-0


INTRODUCTION: After war 1992–1995 in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BH) the whole population was highly psych-traumatized. Mental health therapists had not enough capacities to meet needs of population. They are permanently in need to increase their psychotherapy capacities. EMDR is a powerful, state-of-the-art treatment. Its effectiveness and efficacy has been validated by extensive research. National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) recommended it as one of two trauma treatments of choice.

AIM: To describe non profit, humanitarian approach in sharing skills of Eye Movement Reprocessing and Desensitization (EMDR) to mental health therapists in BH from Humanitarian Assistance Program (HAP) of UK & Ireland [now trauma Aid UK].

METHOD: Authors described the educational process considering the history of idea and its realization through training levels and process of supervision.

RESULTS: Highly skilled and internationally approved trainers from HAP UK & Ireland [now trauma Aid UK] came four times to Psychiatry Department of University Clinical Center Tuzla in BH where they provided completed EMDR training for 24 trainees: neuro-psychiatrists, residents of neuro-psychiatry and psychologists from eight different health institutions from six different cities in BH. After finishing training process, trainees are obliged to practice their EMDR therapy in daily practice with real clients under the supervision process of HAP UK & Ireland [now Trauma Aid UK] trainers to become certified EMDR therapists. Regarding big physical distance between supervisors and trainees, supervision will be realized via Skype Internet technology

CONCLUSION: Psychotherapy capacities of mental health psychotherapists in postwar BH could be increased with enthusiastic help of EMDR trainers from HAP UK & Ireland [now Trauma Aid UK].

Farrell, D. P., Keenan, P. S., Ali, M. W., S. Bilal, Tareen, S. M., L. Keenan, & Rana, M. H. (2011). Training Pakistani mental health workers in EMDR in the aftermath of the 2005 earthquake in Northern Pakistan. Counselling Psychology Quarterly. doi:10.1080/09515070.2011.589599

ABSTRACT: The primary objective of this article will focus predominantly upon EMDR as an evidence-based treatment intervention for psychological trauma. It outlines in particular an EMDR Humanitarian Assistance Training Programme that took place in Abbotabad and Rawalpindi in response to the Pakistan earthquake, 2005, in helping to train teams of mental health workers in EMDR so as to enable them to treat psychological trauma symptoms of earthquake survivors. Results from two preliminary studies will be presented outlining the effectiveness of EMDR with two psychological trauma populations in Pakistan. This article also discusses the rationale for widening the trainings to different parts of Pakistan to include other significant traumas currently affecting some parts of the Pakistani population.

Mehrotra, S., & Geng, W. E. I. (2011). EMDR in India. Journal of Xihua University (Philosophy & Social Sciences), 2. doi:CNKI:SUN:CDSF.0.2011-02-000

ABSTRACT: After the earthquake in January 2001 in India, 40 trained EMDR Therapists participated in helping more than 1600 people. The symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) were observed both in children and adults; no gross disintegration of personality was noted. Through analyzing children’s drawings, the study finds the relationship between individual emotions and traumatic impact on their psychological health. Although people who had suffered greater destruction and severe loss demonstrated greater emotional upheaval, people in the large residential areas mostly intact from the earthquake felt more insecure than those in severely destructed areas, due to the threat of further destruction.