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Last updated on 1 August 2019


Vale Francine Shapiro (18 August 1948 - 18 June 2019)
Welcome to EMDR therapy Training, the website of Dr Darra J Murphy
The Basic Training in EMDR therapy provided here is that of the EMDR Institute, the Training and Research organisation established by Dr Francine Shapiro herself in 1995. I was trained as an EMDR trainer (2012 - 2015) by Dr Shapiro herself and two of her Senior Faculty Instructors.

Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing therapy (EMDR therapy) 

EMDR therapy  is a 'trauma-informed' and phased approach to psychotherapy, which integrates a host of cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) and psychodynamic (psychoanalytic) strategies with the use of bi-lateral stimulation (BLS).

Repetitive BLS (most commonly eye movement) appears to accelerate 'free association', through the physiological induction of an orienting response (OR). This may be similar to what occurs during Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep.

NOT just ' Semantics '

Eye Movement Desensitisation (EMD) was discovered by Dr Francine Shapiro as an effective treatment for post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in 1987. The word Reprocessing (R) was added in 1991 and thus was 'EMDR' born. Later, in 2001, she wrote that if she had her time over she would call it 'Reprocessing therapy'. The reason is this:

Using the abbreviation 'EMDR' leads to confusion as to whether one is talking about:

- EMDR therapy:        Phases 1-8 of this distinct and comprehensive approach to psychotherapy;
- EMDR treatment:     Phases 3-6/7 of EMDR therapy (i.e. the 'procedures' for reprocessing a disturbing memory).
'EMDR therapy' signifies the evolution of Eye Movement Desensitisation (EMD) into Reprocessing therapy (R) and was Dr Shapiro's preferred term. This is reflected in the title of the 3rd and final edition of her "Basic Principles and Protocols", published in 2017. In her memory, the following abbreviations will be used as consistently as possible:
- EMD:                       the original procedure, developed to deal with PTSD related to a single event / memory;
- EMDR:                    the Standard Protocol and 'Phased' approach, used to address more than one event / memory);
- EMDR treatment:   targeting and reprocessing a disturbing memory, or Phases 3-6/7 of the Eight Phase approach;
- EMDR therapy:      Phases 1-8, flexibly applied with variations to the Standard Protocol (Past / Present / Future) and 
                                  used to address a wide spectrum of psychopathology, from the most simple to the most complex.
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