Many of our American soldiers are now returning from Iraq, suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. As treatment, the Department of Defense/Department of Veterans Affairs Practice Guidelines have placed Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) in the highest category, recommended for all trauma populations, at all times.

Nonetheless, I do believe that it is imperative that any lingering misconceptions surrounding its effective use be dispelled, in order that more soldiers are afforded the opportunity to ease their suffering, by applying this remarkable therapeutic approach. EMDR is a form of psychotherapy that assists patients in resolving disturbing memories.

As a Pennsylvania psychologist, I have been using EMDR since 1995, after having completed my formal EMDR training, under the direction of Dr. Shapiro, the originator of this therapy. Most of today's concerns, about EMDR, seem to be centered on the notion that there exists little evidence for its use as one of psychotherapy's empirically supported treatments. In so much as it is vital that no health care provider do patient harm, my question is to consider the harm that could occur, however, if EMDR is not offered as a timely treatment option.

Throughout the years, it has been my experience that EMDR seems to help patients make a link between what they "know" to what they "feel." This "break-through" is invaluable, especially with the trauma patient who is finally able to resolve their disturbing memories. Numerous studies also appear to support this same contention that EMDR offers a protocol and treatment approach that is efficacious, time efficient, and particularly indicated when dealing with patients with trauma-based issues.

Author's Bio: 

I am a Pennsylvania licensed psychologist, certified hypnotherapist, and EMDR-Level II practitioner in full-time private practice. As a presenter for PESI, I provide national continuing education workshops for mental health and educational professionals on topics related to EMDR and mindfulness meditation. In 1995, I completed my EMDR training in Philadelphia, under the direction of Dr. Francine Shapiro, EMDR's originator. A former patient and I are interviewed within the 2011 documentary featuring Dr. Shapiro, "EMDR: a documentary film." I also host my professional website ( that helps visitors simplify their overall healthcare, by improving their emotional health with my psychology-related links, e-books, hypnosis and other FREE self-help programs. As a doctoral candidate, I am currently completing my research dissertation on the meditation benefits of audio-visual stimulation in pursuit of my Ph.D.