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EMDR in Treating Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Written by: Wilson, G., Farrell, D., Barron, I., Hutchins, J., Whybrow, D., & Kiernan, M. D. (2018)

Edited By: EMDR-Zone Editorial Team

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Study Objective and Design

The research, titled "The Use of Eye-Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy in Treating Post-traumatic Stress Disorder—A Systematic Narrative Review," was led by Gemma Wilson and her team. Their primary goal was to comprehensively assess the effectiveness of EMDR therapy in treating PTSD. They focused on strong evidence from Randomized-Controlled Trials (RCTs) and conducted two systematic searches to gather this evidence. The first search aimed to gather systematic reviews and meta-analyses, while the second focused on recent RCTs from 2014 to 2017.

Introduction to EMDR and Its Theoretical Framework

EMDR is a type of psychotherapy introduced by Shapiro in 1995. It's designed to help individuals process distressing memories, especially those related to traumatic events. Central to EMDR is the Adaptive Information Processing (AIP) model, which suggests that many psychological issues arise because certain traumatic memories haven't been properly processed by the brain. These "stuck" memories can lead to ongoing distress.

Research Methodology and Approach

The team conducted a rigorous search across various databases to find the most relevant and high-quality studies on EMDR. They first looked for systematic reviews and meta-analyses that summarized multiple studies. To ensure they had the latest findings, they also searched for newer studies conducted between 2014 and 2017. They used the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme tool to ensure the studies they selected were of high quality.

Key Findings from Meta-Analyses and RCTs