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Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing

  1. Francine Shapiro1,
  2. Roger M. Solomon2

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0337

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Shapiro, F. and Solomon, R. M. 2010. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–3.

Author Information

  1. 1

    Mental Research Institute, Palo Alto, CA

  2. 2

    Buffalo Center for Trauma and Loss, Buffalo, NY

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010


Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is an integrative psychotherapeutic approach that emphasizes the role of the brain's information processing system in ameliorating the somatic and psychological consequences of distressing events. Current emotional problems not caused by organic deficit or physical insults are conceptualized as the result of inappropriately processed memories of disturbing or traumatic experiences. EMDR is an eight-phase treatment, including a tripartite protocol that focuses on the memories underlying current problems and those that must be specifically addressed to bring the client to a robust state of psychological health. One of its distinguishing characteristics is its use of bilateral physical stimulation, such as side-to-side eye movements, alternating hand taps, or alternating auditory tones while the person undergoing treatment is mentally focusing on aspects of various life experiences.


  • EMDR;
  • information processing;
  • trauma;
  • AIP;
  • eye movement