I’ve been tracking stories about eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR) for about a year now, though the therapy has been around for several decades. I’m not a medical man, so I can’t comment on whether the medical and scientific community has yet ruled on its ultimate effectiveness. A paper published on the Tufts Medical Centre website notes that EMDR research is still ongoing, though the US Dept. of Veterans Affairs and the Dept. of Defense “identify EMDR as a valid therapy for PTSD”. Canada’s Ministry of Veterans Affairs offers a more cautious assessment, saying it is “unclear whether [EMDR] is as effective as CBT )Cognitive Behavioural Therapy”.
A piece published today on the UK Ministry of Defence website, and originally published in the UK’s Soldier magazine, offers a very positive account of one British veteran’s experience of EMDR as a treatment for PTSD incurred on his many deployments. Steve Johnson, a sergeant in the Royal Military police, is quoted as saying “I thought I had dealt with everything I saw but the sessions brought it out and put it back in order. Different things help people in different ways but for me EMDR is the only reason I am here today. I can’t explain the science behind it, but it worked.”
I would encourage anyone seeking treatment for PTSD to get a medical opinion on EMDR as a possible treatment.