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Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing

Description of the Strategy

Since its introduction in 1989, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) has undergone numerous empirical investigations. Now a widely accepted treatment, EMDR is considered an integrative psychotherapy due to its blending of aspects from different orientations. Therapists from diverse orientations recognize a variety of elements, including nondirective or “free” association, attention to negative beliefs and learning, concentration on physiological sensation, and a client-directed stance.

Since the process of EMDR does expose clients to anxiety-provoking stimuli, some have considered it another form of exposure therapy and have suggested that this would account for its effectiveness. However, since exposure therapy incorporates a habituation and extinction model, positive treatment outcomes are thought to require prolonged, uninterrupted, and undistracted exposure in order ...

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