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.

Also look at The EMDR Research Foundation

Growing body of research on EMDR with Traumatised Communities

The first paper published by Aseel Hamid from her PhD in the BMJ

She acknowledged Trauma Aid UK in her study

Qualitative accounts from Syrian mental health professionals: shared realities in the context of conflict and forced displacement by Aseel Hamid , Katrina Scior, Amanda C de C Williams.


Objectives: To explore the impact of the provision of care of forcibly displaced Syrian mental health professionals (MHPs) to Syrian clients in the community given shared experiences and backgrounds with clients. Design: A qualitative study using thematic analysis of in- depth semistructured interviews to explore shared realities, self- disclosure and the impact of providing therapy. Setting: Syrian MHPs operating in Gaziantep and Istanbul, Turkey, were interviewed. Participants: Sixteen forcibly displaced Syrian MHPs (eight male, eight female) aged between 24 and 54 years (M=35, SD=8.3) who provided care to the displaced Syrian community in Turkey. Results: All workers described having a shared reality with their clients as helpful in therapy and a smaller proportion described it as a vulnerability. All described their work with Syrian clients as fulfilling and most described it as distressing. Participants referred to self- care,supervision, peer- support and personal therapy as a means to cope. Conclusions: This study provides the first insight into the shared experiences of the ongoing trauma, loss and violations resulting from the ongoing Syrian conflict from the perspective of Syrian MHPs, adding to the literature of the professional issues and ethical duty to protect health workers in conflict settings.

The full document is available here:

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Psychiatria Danubina

This journal is indexed online and has articles relating to EMDR in Bosnia.

Follow the link to the index here.

PTSD Following Childbirth, Can it be Prevented and Can it be treated? A Case Report

Around 15-20% of women who had childbirth experience childbirth as traumatic per DSM-IV criteria. No wonder there have been increasing recognition of the importance of mother’s PTSD following child birth. The prevalence of PTSD in women following childbirth has been estimated to happen in between 1.5 and 5.6% of these births. Women may perceive their labour as traumatic because of many reasons. One of these is the mode of birth, as clearly first and more prolonged labour is more likely to be perceived as more traumatic. Also, medical and nursing interventions during labour or birth can also be of immense importance. And lastly, women’s perceived manner of treatment by healthcare professions during and after childbirth.

The Case
This is a 30 Years Old married housewife who lives with her husband and daughter in the small city of Chelmsford in the borough of Essex, North East of London.

Read and/or download the full article…

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.

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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.

Development of EMDR in Bosnia and Herzegovina-from an Idea to the First EMDR Conference. M Hasanović, S Morgan, S Oakley, S Richman… – Psychiatria Danubina, 2018


The needs for EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) treatment of Bosnia-Herzegovina (BH) citizens, affected by 1992-1995 war, increased. The Trauma Aid UK (former Humanitarian Assistance Programs UK & Ireland) works in partnership with mental health professionals in BH.We aim to build an environment in which qualified and experienced professionals trained in EMDR may establish and sustain complete EMDR education and to keep international standards of EMDR practice.Authors described the history of idea and its realization of EMDR education considering all needed phases that were provided from the Trauma Aid UK with non profit, humanitarian approach in sharing skills of EMDR to mental health therapists in BH.The trainers from Trauma Aid UK completed five EMDR trainings in Bosnia-Herzegovina for recruited trainees from different cities and entities in BH. For continual professional development (CPD) all of these mental health professionals need to be active participants in professional and scientific meetings. Though, Association of Bosnia and Herzegovina EMDR Therapists, member of EMDR Europe, organized the First EMDR conference in Bosnia-Herzegovina sponsored by Trauma Aid UK under the patronage of EMDR Association of UK & Ireland.Five training of Bosnia-Herzegovina mental health workers to effectively use EMDR with enthusiastic help of EMDR trainers from Trauma Aid UK resulted with European accredited EMDR practitioners, one European accredited EMDR consultant and the first EMDR conference in BH. This will keep national development of psychotherapy capacities in post-war BH.

Click Here for the full article.


16 November 2019

Intervening Early With EMDR on Military Operations

A Case Study
Matthew Wesson
Royal Navy Department of Community Mental Health HM Naval Base,
Portsmouth, Hampshire, UK
Matthew Gould
Defence Clinical Psychology Service, UK Ministry of Defence HM Naval Base,
Portsmouth, Hampshire, UK

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Why case studies are useful publications in the EMDR scientific literature

Dr Derek Farrell – Senior Lecturer in Psychology

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