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Review Article

Düşünen Adam. 2010; 23(3): 195-205

EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing): a different option in psychotherapy

Önder Kavakcı, Orhan Doğan, Nesim Kuğu.

In recent years, there has been an interest in using the EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapy. One of the reasons for this interest may be its effectiveness shown by numerous studies, especially, conducted with individuals who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The EMDR is known to be an innovative approach that accelerates information processing and facilitates the integration of fragmented traumatic memories. This process is stated to allow better integration of the information that a person has to handle in the future. Recent practice guidelines and meta-analyses have designated the EMDR as a first-line treatment for trauma. Although the prevalences of trauma and trauma related disorders are high in Turkey, there has been a limited number of published studies highlighting treatment options. The EMDR?s mechanism of action has not yet been fully explained. Shapiro has proposed an adaptive information processing model. Later, based on laboratory and neuroimaging methods, a number of neurobiological models have been suggested.  The present study explained the EMDR and its eight-phases. A case example with session records was provided to show the application and operation of the technique. After that, leading neurobiological models which attempt to explain the mechanisms of action of the EMDR were summarized. Finally, few studies conducted in Turkey using the EMDR were reviewed.  Given the effectiveness of the EMDR regarding trauma and related disorders, the utilization of the technique by a broad number of mental health professionals may not only increase the professionals? competency on psychiatric disorders, but also may provide patients suffering from these disorders a chance to recover in a relatively short period of time.

Key words: Trauma, PTSD, EMDR, therapy, neurobiology

Article Language: Turkish English

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