EMDR in the press
It’s 32 years since Francine Shapiro published her ground-breaking paper describing EMDR (Shapiro 1989); two years later she changed the name to EMDR to describe the reprocessing that practitioners of the new approach were continually witnessing in their work with clients (Shapiro 1991). Since that time, EMDR has emerged as a comprehensive psychotherapy and its adoption is growing fast worldwide.
The Daily Mail said EMDR might seem ‘bizarre’ and ‘a little outlandish’, but that it’s beloved by celebrities and is a respected therapy. This is the writer’s verdict: “While critics have dismissed it as pseudoscience, EMDR has a body of scientific research behind it that proves it to be effective for the treatment of severe trauma”. This long feature also refers to Francine Shapiro – ‘Senior Research Fellow Emeritus at the University of California’ – and describes how she discovered and developed the therapy. I found three other Daily Mail articles which mentioned EMDR in the context of this story, but mainly as reportage of the series rather than attempting their own explanation of the therapy or repeating material already covered in the above article.
The Guardian ran another feature where the writer credits EMDR with saving her life, and says she understands, like Prince Harry, the consequences of being parented by those with unresolved traumas of their own.
EMDR UK had lined up coverage in The Telegraph, which found its news hook as a result of the Prince Harry interview. Important messages about EMDR come out loud and clear, including quotes from President Mike O’Connor, and Board Member Sandi Richman. EMDR is mainstream and available on the NHS and endorsed by NICE; it’s effective for a wide variety mental health issues including anxiety and depression; emerging research evidence shows it is as effective as CBT for PTSD, but EMDR takes fewer sessions. At the heart of this Telegraph article is a head teacher who had suffered depression, and eventually PTSD, because of an emotionally neglectful upbringing – highlighting that the therapy can help with mental health issues stemming from a common experience.
Another said to see a member of the royal family having EMDR on screen normalised misunderstood and potentially life-saving treatments.
Many people who need therapy have now discovered that EMDR could be an option for them.