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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 38 (1996) 1

New research

With an eye to tomorrow: a review of EMDR-studies

P.G. van der Velden, R.J. Kleber

The Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR), developed by Shapiro, is a relatively new brief psychotherapeutic method for PTSD related symptoms. This article is a review of 27 empirical studies using the EMDR method. It was found that most studies, especially the non-controlled studies, report considerable improvements in clients within a few sessions with EMDR. However, most studies have serious methodological flaws, concerning absence of (1) proper controlgroups, (2) standardized and validated questionnaires for pre- and post-test-measurements, (3) adequate sample sizes, (4) controlling for previous received psychotherapy or other non-EMDR interventions, and/or (5) long-term follow-up assessments. These shortcomings hinder conclusions about the efficacy of the EMDR method in contrast to other treatment methods.