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Open Access EMDR Treatment of Recent Trauma

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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.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2009-08-01

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  • The Journal of EMDR Practice and Research is a quarterly, peer-reviewed publication devoted to integrative, state-of-the-art papers about Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. It is a broadly conceived interdisciplinary journal that stimulates and communicates research and theory about EMDR, and their application to clinical practice.
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