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Research in EMDR

In the last twenty years, EMDR has shown predictable and rapid results in the treatment of many trauma based complaints. Most international practice guidelines include EMDR therapy as an efficacious treatment for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (see the links opposite this page).

The beneficial effects of EMDR are powerful, cross cultural and effective in adults and children. Common psychological, physiological and social parameters are taken into account in EMDR psychotherapy. The question is what can we learn, explain and design for a better understanding of the efficiency and the mechanisms involved in the EMDR protocol.

An obvious field for future research is neurobiology, neuro-imaging and the field of memory processing/ memory retrieval/ memory consolidation of disturbing experiences. The exact effect of bilateral stimulation is still the object of very active research and is not yet completely understood. The principle and mechanism of Adaptive Information Processing (AIP), and the relationship between mind and body, represent important areas for future research.

With regard to the clinical applications of EMDR, more research is necessary in order to reach the highest level of scientific proof of clinical efficiency, already realised for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Many anxiety disorders as well as depression have been shown to be effectively treated by EMDR as reported in the publication of articles in recognized journals. However, more randomized controlled studies are still necessary to demonstrate the efficacy for the conditions that respond to EMDR in order to obtain recognition by those authorities responsible for mental health care.
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