Problems Treated With EMDR

Initial research into the benefits of EMDR was done in the late 1980s with Vietnam war veterans and survivors of rape and molestation.

Since then, positive therapeutic results have been reported for a wide range of challenges (according to case reports and studies), including the following:

  1. PTSD due to repeated deployment in recent wars, terrorism, crime, sexual assault, accidents, surgery, and natural disasters
  2. Anxiety disorders such as phobias and panic disorder
  3. Performance anxiety in sports, school, performing arts, and business
  4. Mood disorders
  5. Low self-esteem and feelings of powerlessness
  6. Somatic disorders
  7. Chronic pain
  8. Eating disorders
  9. Grief and loss due to the death of a loved one
  10. Chemical dependency and other addictions

[Reference: Shapiro, Francine. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy. New York: Guilford Press, 2018.]

Duration of treatment depends upon the number of disturbing events, their intensity, and the age at which they occurred.  For example, someone with a single event adult-onset trauma can be successfully treated in under five sessions.  Conversely, a greater number of sessions may be necessary for an individual who has been exposed to multiple traumas as an adult, or whose negative experiences began earlier in life and have caused long-term symptoms.