Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy



Leading Article

THE EYE MOVEMENT DESENSITIZATION AND REPROCESSING DEBATE: COMMENTARY ON ROSEN ET AL. AND POOLE ET AL.


David Richards a1c1
a1 Chair, BABCP and University of Manchester, U.K.

Abstract

The debate conducted in this journal and elsewhere on the effectiveness of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is characterized by incredulity, fervent belief and emotion. Theorists and clinical pragmatists, not to mention the “discovers” of EMDR, have often taken up oppositional stances that impede rationale debate. Whilst some may be offended by the overt commercialism and messianic fervour of the EMDR lobby, the best response is to engage in dialogue, collaboration and scientific experiment. These experiments should combine the best randomized clinical trial methods with experimental deconstruction of the complex mix that now comprises EMDR. Those who have developed EMDR should cease the commercial and empirical protectionism that has characterized the EMDR movement and open their methods to such investigation by the healthily sceptical.


Key Words: EMDR; PTSD; outcome research; treatment effectiveness.

Correspondence:
c1 Reprint requests to David Richards, Research Fellow, School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Visiting, University of Manchester, Coupland III Building, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PG, U.K.


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