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date: 20 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

In this chapter we review the empirical foundation for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reproessing Therapy (EMDR) for posttraumatic stress disorder. We present a brief description of the therapy, critically review recent primary and meta-analytic investigations concerning its efficacy and effectiveness, offer a summary of recent primary investigations that addressed the mechanism of action for EMDR, and based on this overall review, we suggest limitations with recommendations for future research. Recent empirical investigations of the efficacy of EMDR have improved along a number of important dimensions, and these along with the few completed effectiveness trials, position this therapy among evidence-based frontline interventions for PTSD. What is less thoroughly researched, and thus less well understood, are putative models of its theoretical mechanism of action. In addition to continuing specific improvements in research concerning efficacy and effectiveness, we recommend more and higher quality empirical studies of its mechanism of action.

Keywords: eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, emdr, posttraumatic stress disorder, ptsd, mechanism of action, meta-analysis, efficacy, effectiveness

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