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Open Access EMDR With Traumatized Refugees: From Experience-Based to Evidence-Based Practice

Many refugees resettled in Western countries suffer from an accumulation of traumatic and current stressors that contribute to mental health problems and may complicate trauma-focused treatment. Consequently, the acceptability, safety, and efficacy of trauma-focused treatment with refugees have been a matter of clinical and scientific interest. In recent years, the evidence has accumulated for narrative exposure therapy and culturally adapted cognitive behavioral therapy. Although eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is practiced with resettled refugees, only five small studies of limited quality have been conducted on EMDR with this population. In the absence of strong evidence, therapists practising EMDR with refugees may be aided by transcultural psychiatric principles, especially matching of explanatory models. In addition, high-quality research is needed to reliably determine acceptability, safety, and efficacy of EMDR with traumatized refugees.


Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 2014

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