The EMDR Research Foundation Quiz


In honor of the 25th anniversary of EMDR Research, we are offering a quiz.
We invite you to take our quiz and show off what you know about EMDR Research – and see how far we’ve come.

The rules are as follows:

  • The quiz is free to take.
  • You can take it up to five times.
  • You have 30 minutes to take it during each attempt.
  • We will close our quiz at the EMDRIA conference on September 19, 2014.
  • You can win prizes for getting the most answers right in the least amount of time.
  • Our grand prize is a $500 check!


25 years of EMDR Research: We’ve come a long way since Shapiro’s 1989 n of 22.


It takes many studies to pool together enough data for a Meta-analysis.  Meta-analysis is the use of statistical methods to combine results of individual studies. By taking the results from all published studies on the same question and combining them, it’s as if someone had done a single study with a much larger sample size.  EMDR has been compared to numerous exposure therapy and CBT protocols in the treatment of PTSD in adults and children, and the effect of eye movements on processing emotional memories has been extensively studied. For a comprehensive list of meta-analysis studies, search the Francine Shapiro Library at Recent meta-analyses are listed here. Continue reading

Psychosis and PTSD:research in progress worth following

At the 25th anniversary of the first study (Shapiro, 1989) that formed the foundation for EMDR psychotherapy, the EMDR Research Foundation continues to be excited by the expanding research in the use of EMDR psychotherapy.  The following ongoing study compares EMDR with prolonged expsoure and waitlist controls in the treating trauma and psychosis. Below is the study abstract, as well as links to read about this research online or to download the full-text PDF. Study protocol A multi-site single blind clinical study to compare the effects of prolonged exposure, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing and waiting list on patients with a current diagnosis of psychosis and co morbid post traumatic stress disorder: study protocol for the randomized controlled trial Treating Trauma in Psychosis Paul AJM de Bont*, David PG van den Berg, Berber M van der Vleugel, Carlijn de Roos, Cornelis L Mulder, Eni S Becker, Ad de Jongh, Mark van der Gaag,and Agnes van Minnen. *Corresponding author: Paul AJM de Bont – Trials 2013, 14:151 doi:10.1186/1745-6215-14-151 published May 23, 2013

Here is an abstract, as well as links to read about this research online or to download the full-text PDF: Continue reading

TRIP: Our clinical stories make research come alive. You can benefit AND contribute.

The EMDR Research Foundation is committed to providing funding and support for unbiased research in EMDR with the ultimate goal of improving the quality of client care and the transformation of lives. Funding research alone won’t do that – research has to be available and accessible to clinicians in a way that is relevant to their work. It is discouraging to hear from the Agency for Healthcare Quality and Care (2001) that it can take one to two decades for research to be integrated into routine clinical practice, but clinicians and researchers can expedite that integration by sharing our own clinical stories inspired by or supported by research. The EMDR Research Foundation’s new project, the Translating Research into Practice column, aims to provide an accessible forum for researchers and clinicians to bring research alive and make research findings relevant in a clinician’s day to day practice. By sharing our clinical experiences we can provide the vital link between research and practice.


Researchers read research, but clinicians are more likely to be influenced by the case examples described in research (Stewart and Chambless, 2010). Many clinicians acknowledge that they skim through research articles to find the nuggets of case examples. This is not surprising: clinical stories engage us and encourage us to read more. When we read a research article, it is with our own clients’ lives in mind as we consider the possible influence on our own practices. “How will this make a difference in my work with my clients? With a particular client or particular disorder, does this support my current interventions or help me to identify another clinical choice? Does this help me understand my client, case conceptualization, or treatment effects more fully? Does this provide a strategy or technique for using EMDR with a client for whom I haven’t yet used it?” For the non-research oriented clinician, case examples motivate us to wade through the more analytically organized data within a research article as we connect the findings with the heart and passion of our work.


With this in mind, the EMDR Research Foundation’s Translating Research into Practice (TRIP) column is soliciting clinical case examples inspired by or supported by research. Clinicians, if you have read a research article that stimulated your thinking, inspired your work, or made a difference in your work with a client, please share this by writing a brief case description that elucidates or is inspired by the findings of a research article. Researchers if you have been involved in a research study and would like to share clinical examples that elucidate your findings,  we invite you to share them with your clinical colleagues by writing your case example and how it relates to your research. Clinical consultants and trainers, if you have found a research article that has proven helpful to a consultee or to trainees in their understanding of or application of EMDR, please share your experiences. We can support researchers in disseminating their findings and provide the critical link between research and practice.


It has been said that “life is too short to learn solely from our own mistakes.” In the lifespan of a clinical practice, it is also clear that our work with clients is too important to learn only from our own clinical experience. Research and the clinical stories that spring from its application provide a distillation and elaboration of the experience of others, shine a light on possibilities for our own practices, and thereby accelerate healing for our clients. The EMDR Research Foundation’s Translating Research into Practice column aims to support clinical excellence through the dissemination of clinically relevant research findings – exponentially expanding the clinical experiences from which clinicians learn. We look forward to the contributions of clinicians, consultants, trainers and researchers to this column.


Instructions for authors:

• Purpose: To translate research findings pertaining to EMDR into applications in clinical practice. The research article might explore clinical applications, the theoretical model, the procedures, or the underlying neurobiology.
• Format: Please include the following:
(1) Full citation and abstract of original research article,
(2) Clinical vignette(s) or case example(s) from your practice, using standard EMDR procedures, that support, elaborate, or are inspired by the findings of the original research article,
(3) Discussion of the relevance of the research findings in your clinical practice,
(4) References.


Our new column is published in the Journal of EMDR Practice and Research.  The first article “EMDR with Grief:  Reflections on Ginny Sprang’s 2001 Study” was written by Katy Murray and can be downloaded for free at

If you would like to contribute to the Translating Research into Practice column or volunteer to help with this project please contact the Foundation’s office at or Katy Murray at



  • Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (2001). Translating Research into
    Practice (TRIP) II: Fact Sheet. US Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service. AHRQ Pub No. 01-P017 downloaded 2/2012:
  • Murray, K.  (2012). EMDR with Grief: Reflection’s on Ginny Sprang’s 2001 Study. Journal of EMDR Practice and Research, 6(4), pp 187-191.
  • Stewart, R. E. and Chambless, D. L. (2010), Interesting practitioners in training in
    empirically supported treatments: research reviews versus case studies. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 66: 73–95.

More on EMDR for recent critical incidents and trauma: A Translating Research Into Practice Link

Your outpouring of interest in the latest research on EMDR for treating recent traumatic events and disasters has been gratifying. The EMDR Research Foundation is eager to bridge the link between research and practice in our desire to support clinicians to provide the most effective, efficient, compassionate service to those who suffer.

We believe you will find the following four articles equally instructive in your work with clients who have been impacted by a recent trauma or disaster.  We have provided the abstracts with links to the free, full-text articles.  Please share this blog with your colleagues.


Jarero, I., Artigas, L., & Luber, M. (2011). The EMDR protocol for recent critical incidents: Application in a disaster mental health continuum of care context. Journal of EMDR Practice and Research, 5(3), 82-94. doi:10.1891/1933-3196.5.3.82.


This randomized, controlled group field study was conducted subsequent to a 7.2 earthquake in North Baja California, Mexico. Treatment was provided according to continuum of care principles. Crisis management debriefing was provided to 53 individuals. After this, the 18 individuals who had high scores on the Impact of Event Scale (IES) were then provided with the eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) Protocol for Recent Critical Incidents (EMDR-PRECI), a single-session modified EMDR protocol for the treatment of recent trauma. Participants were randomly assigned to two groups: immediate treatment group and waitlist/delayed treatment group. There was no improvement in the waitlist/ delayed treatment group, and scores of the immediate treatment group participants were significantly improved, compared with waitlist/delayed treatment group paticipants. One session of EMDR-PRECI produced significant improvement on symptoms of posttraumatic stress for both the immediate-treatment and waitlist/delayed treatment groups, with results maintained at 12-week follow-up, even though frightening aftershocks continued to occur frequently. This study provides preliminary evidence in support of the protocol’s efficacy in a disaster mental health continuum of care context. More controlled research is recommended to evaluate further the efficacy of this intervention.


Jarero, I., & Uribe, S. (2011). The EMDR Protocol for recent critical incidents: Brief report of an application in a human massacre situation. Journal of EMDR Practice and Research, 5(4), 156-165. doi:10.1891/1933-3196.5.4.156.

This ongoing field study was conducted subsequent to the discovery of clandestine graves with 218 bodies recovered in the Mexican state of Durango in April 2011. A preliminary psychometric assessment was conducted with the 60 State Attorney General employees who were working with the corpses to establish a triage criterion and provide baseline measures. The Impact of Event Scale (IES) and the short posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) rating interview were administered, and the 32 individuals whose scores indicated moderate-to-severe posttraumatic stress and PTSD symptoms were treated with the eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) Protocol for Recent Critical Incidents (EMDR-PRECI). Participants were assigned to two groups: immediate treatment (severe scores) and waitlist/delayed treatment (moderate scores). Each individual client session lasted between 90 and 120 minutes. Results showed that one session of EMDR-PRECI produced significant improvement on self-report measures of posttraumatic stress and PTSD symptoms for both the immediate treatment and waitlist/delayed treatment groups. This study provides preliminary evidence in support of the protocol’s efficacy in a natural setting of a human massacre situation to a group of traumatized adults working under extreme stressors. More controlled research is recommended to evaluate further the protocol’s efficacy.


Shapiro, E. (2009). EMDR treatment of recent trauma. Journal of EMDR Practice and Research, 3(3), 141-151. doi:10.1891/1933-3196.3.3.141 .

Although eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) has demonstrated efficacy in treating chronic posttraumatic stress disorder and old trauma memories, EMDR treatment of recent traumatic events has not received adequate attention from EMDR researchers or clinicians. This article presents current thinking and findings about early psychological intervention following recent traumatic events and examines the status of early EMDR intervention (EEI) concepts and research. It is contended that this area has not developed sufficient awareness and definition among EMDR clinicians. Francine Shapiro’s theoretical adaptive information-processing model predicts that dysfunctionally stored trauma memories underlie many current psychological disorders. Consequently, the assumption that memories of a recent traumatic event and its sequelae are not fully consolidated offers a unique role for EEI not only in reducing acute distress but also in preventing the sensitization and accumulation of trauma memories. A call is made for a more comprehensive approach to the field of EEI to promote interest and awareness among EMDR practitioners and to generate research.


Tofani, L. R., & Wheeler, K. (2011). The recent-traumatic episode protocol: Outcome evaluation and analysis of three case studies. Journal of EMDR Practice and Research, 5(3), 95-110. doi:10.1891/1933-3196.5.3.95.
FREE FULL-TEXT DOWNLOAD:;jsessionid=jc6tc7rosr7.alice

This article evaluates and illustrates the application of the recent-traumatic episode protocol (R-TEP) with three diverse clients: a child with chronic illness, a woman with a significant loss, and an adolescent who self-harmed. The R-TEP is an adaptation of the Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) protocol for early EMDR intervention. Sessions are presented in detail to highlight the shifts in information processing that occur during treatment. Observed markers used to analyze the flow of processing are identified, which include distancing from the trauma; reduction in negative affect or change in reported emotions; accessing more adaptive information; changes in the Subjective Units of Disturbance scale; and the Validity of Cognition scale and Impact of Event Scale–Revised indicating shifts in perception of the traumatic memory. Pre-post R-TEP treatment gains were noted for all clients, with changes in behavior and functioning. Theoretical underpinnings of the R-TEP are discussed with respect to the reported observations. The specific contribution of the protocol is highlighted, considering its procedural components and related plausible mechanisms of change.


The EMDR Research Foundation is grateful to the Journal of EMDR Practice and Research, the official publication of EMDRIA, for making these articles open-access. Anyone (not just EMDRIA members!) can access these four articles at no charge. Our thanks go to all of the researchers who have dedicated their time and efforts to advance clinical excellence, and to the Journal’s editorial board led by editor Louise Maxfield.


To learn more about the work of the EMDR Research Foundation please read the December 2012 President’s Message by Wendy Freitag at

EMDR For Disaster-Exposed Children: A Translating Research Into Practice Link

EMDR for Disaster-Exposed Children – a 2011 Randomized Controlled Study: A Translating Research Into Practice Link

Many of you will be working with children impacted locally or through the media by Friday’s shooting in Newtown, CT. For your reference, here is the most recently published (2011) randomized controlled study on the use of EMDR with children exposed to disaster. The study concluded that standardized CBT and EMDR interventions can significantly improve functioning of disaster exposed children, with treatment gains reached in fewer sessions with EMDR.

de Roos, C., Greenwald, R., den Hollander-Gijsman, M., Noorthoorn, E., van Buuren, S., & de Jongh, A. (2011). A randomized comparison of CBT and EMDR for disaster-exposed children. European Journal of Psychotraumatology, 2, 5694. DOI: 10.3402.

The Shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School: A Translating Research into Practice Link

Many of us awoke this morning asking the question, “How can I help?”  Whether we live near the Newtown Connecticut communinty or not, in this media rich world all are impacted.  As clinicians and those committed to quality mental health care, we recognize how important it is to be prepared with effective, compassionate treatment for those we serve.

Staying informed with the growing research on the use of EMDR with community disasters and recent traumatic events allows  us to provide treatment with confidence and competence.  The entire issue of the Journal of EMDR Practice and Research Volume 2, Number 2, 2008 is devoted to EMDR Treatment of Recent Events and Community Disasters.  All of the articles are “open source” – allowing anyone to access the article with no subscription and at no charge.  The direct link to this issue’s Table of Contents where you can then choose full text articles to download is at:;jsessionid=1kko1pkpujmlo.alice

Dr. Louise Maxfield’s editorial (pp 74-78) provides an informative introduction to this specialized application of EMDR that is relevant to both clinicians and researchers:  In her editorial she states: “This is a vital topic, suggesting the possibility of reducing exceptional emotional disturbance, helping restore function and stability to individuals and communities. The reports from these authors are encouraging and hopeful, stimulating thought and suggesting direction and guidance for future research.”

A 2011 study is particularly relevant:  “The EMDR Protocol for Recent Critical Incidents: Brief Report of an Application in a Human Massacre Situation” by Ignacio Jarero and Susana Uribe published in the Journal of EMDR Practice and Research,  Volume 5, Number 4, 2011 , pp. 156-165(10)

We encourage you to download and read these full text articles as you consider meeting with your clients in the days, weeks, and months to come.


Please join our efforts by becoming a member of the Visionary Alliance.  You can download a donation form through this link: