By Scott Blech, CAE
Executive Director of EMDRIA
In January we asked EMDR clinicians and clients to write to their Congressional Representatives and Senators asking for help in making EMDR more readily available to our active military and veterans who are coping with PTSD. As you know, this is the time to make all evidence-based treatments available to meet the growing need for PTSD treatment. If you have not written, please do!
Unfortunately, the Department of Defense (DoD), the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and TRICARE have ignored the research, professional organizations, and their own published guidelines on EMDR. The most recent of which is the 2009 edition of the Effective Treatments for PTSD: Practice Guidelines from the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, which says:
“Among the advances highlighted in this edition are solid studies demonstrating the efficacy of EMDR. Most, but not all, clinical practice guidelines now consider EMDR an evidence-based treatment for PTSD.”
It goes on to say: “On the other hand, in the United States, the Institute of Medicine (2008) report concluded that there is sufficient empirical evidence to support the efficacy of exposure therapies, but insufficient evidence to support the efficacy of both EMDR and pharmacotherapy. Nevertheless, we are persuaded by the evidence and rank EMDR as an evidence-based Level A treatment for PTSD in adults. Importantly, the quality of research on EMDR has improved greatly since the first edition of this book, and it is on this basis that we derive our decision.”
If you are an EMDR clinician or someone in the military community who has benefited from EMDR, please write to Congress and please let us know what responses you receive.