EMDRIA (EMDR International Association) defines EMDR as a structured therapy that encourages the patient to focus briefly on the trauma memory while simultaneously experiencing bilateral stimulation (typically eye movements). This dual awareness provides a reduction in the vividness and intensity of emotion associated with the trauma memories. EMDR therapy is well researched, and shown to be effective in helping people recover from trauma and PTSD symptoms. EMDR therapy has been a helpful treatment for disorders such as anxiety, depression, OCD, chronic pain, addictions, as well as other distressing life experiences (Maxfield, 2019). EMDR therapy has even been superior to Prozac in trauma treatment (Van der Kolk et al., 2007). Shapiro and Forrest (2016) share that more than 7 million people have been treated successfully by 110,000 therapists in 130 countries since 2016.
The American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the U.K. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, the U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs/Dept. of Defense, The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, and the World Health Organization among many other national and international organizations recognize EMDR therapy as an effective treatment. More specific information on treatment guidelines can be found on the EMDR Treatment Guidelines page.