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Open Access What Is EMDR?: Commentary by Greenwald and Invited Response by Shapiro

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Greenwald: Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) has already been defined by at least one EMDR-focused professional association as inextricably based on Shapiro's (2001) eight-phase protocol and adaptive information processing (AIP) model. This commentary argues that given the lack of data supporting an exclusive preference for Shapiro's constructs, EMDR's definition should not preclude legitimate alternative conceptualizations. Since definitions may be used for many inclusive and exclusive purposes with impact on EMDR's development, dissemination, practice, and reputation, EMDR's definition should be reconsidered. Shapiro: Greenwald's arguments and suggested redefinition are examined in relation to EMDR research, theory and practice. As evaluated in numerous studies, EMDR is a distinct, eight-phase integrative psychotherapy approach that consists of numerous procedures and protocols, which were formulated and are conducted in accordance with the principles of the AIP model. Research and published clinical case reports have validated both its utility and predictions of positive treatment outcomes with a variety of populations. Professional implications are explored.

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Keywords: ADAPTIVE INFORMATION PROCESSING; EMDR; PHASE MODEL; PSYCHOTHERAPY; TRAUMA

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2010-11-01

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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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