In the blink of an eye

Francine Shapiro and her eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing therapy have had their critics. But here, with Louise Maxfield, she argues that it is safe, rapid and effective.

Imagine a safe, rapid and effective treatment that results in the elimination of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). When I originally introduced eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR) (Shapiro, 1989), the claims that it could quickly alleviate the disabling symptoms of PTSD were received with both interest and scepticism. Since then EMDR has been the object of much scrutiny and debate, and the focus of many empirical investigations. This article reports on the clinical applications of this innovative method, on research evaluating treatment outcomes, and on EMDR’s mechanisms of action.

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