Resources: EMDR

EMDRIA stands for the EMDR International Association, which is a professional organization dedicated to promoting the highest standards of excellence and integrity in the practice and advancement of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy. EMDRIA provides training, certification, and resources for mental health professionals interested in learning and implementing EMDR therapy in their clinical practice. The association also facilitates research, education, and advocacy efforts to raise awareness about the effectiveness of EMDR therapy in treating psychological disorders and promoting mental health and well-being. 

What is EMDR therapy?

EMDR is a structured therapy that encourages the patient to focus briefly on the trauma memory while simultaneously experiencing bilateral stimulation (typically eye movements), which is associated with a reduction in the vividness and emotion associated with the trauma memories. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is an extensively researched, effective psychotherapy method proven to help people recover from trauma and PTSD symptoms. Ongoing research supports positive clinical outcomes showing EMDR therapy as a helpful treatment for disorders such as anxiety, depression, OCD, chronic pain, addictions, and other distressing life experiences (Maxfield, 2019). EMDR therapy has even been superior to Prozac in trauma treatment (Van der Kolk et al., 2007). Shapiro and Forrest (2016) share that more than 7 million people have been treated successfully by 110,000 therapists in 130 countries since 2016.

The American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the U.K. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, the U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs/Dept. of Defense, The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, and the World Health Organization among many other national and international organizations recognize EMDR therapy as an effective treatment. More specific information on treatment guidelines can be found on our EMDR Treatment Guidelines page.


Maxfield, L. (2019). A clinician’s guide to the efficacy of EMDR therapy. Journal of EMDR Practice and Research [Editorial], 13(4), 239-246. Open access:

Shapiro, F., & Forrest, M. S. (2016). EMDR: The breakthrough therapy for overcoming anxiety, stress, and trauma. Hachette UK

Van der Kolk, B.A., Spinazzola, J., Blaustein, M.E., Hopper, J.W., Hopper, E.K., Korn, D. L., & Simpson, W.B. (2007). A randomized clinical trial of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), fluoxetine, and pill placebo in the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder: treatment effects and long-term maintenance. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 68(1), 37-46.

Recommended Reading

The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma by Bessel van der Kolk M.D. 

 - A  groundbreaking book that explores the effects of trauma on the body and mind. It delves into the latest research on trauma and offers insights into how trauma affects brain development, emotions, and behavior.

"Getting Past Your Past: Take Control of Your Life with Self-Help Techniques from EMDR Therapy" by Francine Shapiro

 - Written for a general audience, this book introduces EMDR therapy techniques for self-help and personal growth, offering practical strategies for overcoming past traumas and emotional challenges.

"EMDR Essentials: A Guide for Clients and Therapists" by Barb Miniburger and Francine Shapiro

 - This concise guide provides an overview of EMDR therapy for both clients and therapists, covering key concepts, techniques, and case examples.

"What Happened to You?" by Bruce D. Perry and Oprah Winfrey

 -A compassionate exploration of trauma and its effects on the brain, behavior, and relationships. Drawing from neuroscience, psychology, and personal experiences, the book emphasizes the importance of understanding the impact of early-life experiences on individuals' lives. Through insightful storytelling and practical insights, Perry and Winfrey offer a roadmap for healing and resilience, highlighting the power of connection, empathy, and compassion in overcoming adversity.