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Open Access Evidence of the Efficacy of EMDR With Children and Adolescents in Individual Psychotherapy: A Review of the Research Published in Peer-Reviewed Journals

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Research on psychotherapy with children is generally underrepresented in the empirical literature. Currently, there are four randomized clinical trials (RCT) evaluating EMDR in individual psychotherapy with traumatized children—two for children diagnosed with PTSD and two for children presenting with symptoms of posttraumatic stress. Since the first case studies of EMDR with children were published in 1993, 19 studies were identified that met the inclusion criteria for this review. The gold standards identified by Foa and Meadows (1997) to assess the methodology of studies designed to treat trauma were applied to the research on EMDR with children. This analysis discusses the challenges to conducting research on psychotherapy with children including the debate regarding the assessment and diagnosis of PTSD in children. Recommendations for future studies designed with methodological rigor are suggested to investigate the efficacy of EMDR with children who have experienced trauma and other mental health symptoms and diagnoses.


Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1891/1933-3196.3.4.232

Publication date: November 1, 2009

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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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