The Use of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing in treating Post-traumatic Stress Disorder


  • Sophie Hall Skidmore College


Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, EMDR, PTSD


This literature review examines previous research that assesses the therapeutic benefits of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) in individuals with Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). EMDR provides an alternative treatment option for individuals with PTSD, who could experience additional psychological challenges with other treatment methods. This investigation synthesizes the results from previous literature reviews, practitioner reports, case studies, and experimental studies, in order to examine the possible therapeutic benefit of EMDR for clients with PTSD. The individuals mentioned in this study include children who have been exposed to natural disasters or violence, refugees, survivors of sexual assault, combat veterans, and individuals who have been previously diagnosed with another disorder in addition to their diagnosis of PTSD. Ultimately, the goal of this review is to stimulate further investigation into the merits of EMDR for a wide range of individuals who suffer from PTSD.

Author Biography

Sophie Hall, Skidmore College

Sophie Hall is a graduating senior at Skidmore College with a double major in psychology and German. Her research interests are varied, and range from child language acquisition and emotional awareness in children to the examination of post-traumatic stress disorder and its possible treatment options. Beginning in the Fall of 2017, Sophie will be studying at Northeastern's MS/CAGS program in school psychology.


I first became interested in the use of EMDR for individuals with PTSD after discussing this topic at length with my godmother, Phyllis Mackey, who specializes in this treatment. I was then able to develop research on the subject into my senior capstone, which I then altered for publication. My advice for anyone wishing to undergo this type of project would be to both find a topic that continues to surprise you the more you research it, and to ask for help from people who will give you honest feedback.






Literature Reviews