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Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing: Theory and Research

Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is a method of psychotherapy developed by psychologist Francine Shapiro as a treatment for psychological distress associated with trauma, discovered when she chanced to notice a connection between a decrease in her own emotional distress over a personal concern after having spontaneously moved her eyes back and forth. Integrating her eye movement (EM) observation with aspects of, at least, imaginal exposure, cognitive therapy, psycho-dynamic therapy, and mindfulness teachings, and adding an early positive-psychology idea, Shapiro developed a treatment, which she informally tested. Shapiro first systematically tested her work in a wait-list control study of 21 subjects recruited from local mental health centers, including a Department of Veterans Affairs veteran readjustment center. Remarkably, all of her first 21 subjects showed ...

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