Filmmaker Releases Documentary on EMDR

Filmmaker Michael Burns has released his latest documentary, EMDR, a movie that explores one of the top treatments for psychological trauma: Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing.  Despite turning the community of trauma treatment on its head over the last two decades, EMDR remains lesser known in the mainstream. “With this film I’m looking to introduce people to what EMDR is, how it works, and who can be helped,” said Burns.  Billions of people across the planet have had their lives touched in some way by tragedy.  For many of them, the effects of their abuse, accident, or loss reverberate for the rest of their lives and hold them back from their full potential.

To read the entire Press Release, please click here.

EMDR Listed by SAMHSA on National Registry

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).  This national registry (NREPP) cites EMDR as evidence based practice for treatment of PTSD, anxiety and depression symptoms.  Their review of the evidence also indicated that EMDR leads to an improvement in mental health anxiety.  EMDR is now live on the NREPP website and can be viewed here.


The TRICARE Policy Manual Chapter on Psychotherapy was amended November 3, 2010 to cover EMDR.  “Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is covered for the treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in adults,” the Manual now reads.  It further states that the effective date is “April 16, 2007, for EMDR for the treatment of PTSD in adults.”  We would expect that TRICARE will have a procedure in place to handle claims of EMDR treatment given between April 16, 2007 and November 3, 2010. EMDRIA began a campaign to get approval by TRICARE in 2005.  Many members wrote letters and spoke with high ranking government officials; and special thanks go to Beverly Dexter, PhD, CDR, USN (ret) for her leadership.

DOD’s Positive Psychology Plan

A recent article by a Psychotherapist named Belleruth Naparstek entitled More Troops, More Rotations, More PTSD: Will Positive Psychology Save Our Soldiers? on the popular Huffington Post site, discusses the Department of Defenses new Positive Psychology plan, and brings up some interesting points.

What is Positive Psychology?

Positive Psychology focuses on things like authenticity, productivity, creativity, altruism, gratitude and connection with community, instead of targeting symptoms and pathology. The idea is to build on strengths. So you do things like write down 3 things that went well each day and try to assess why. You identify and ponder personal strengths and see how they can contribute to the Whole.

The hope is that by increasing the soldiers self-esteem and positive outlook prior to deployment, it will help to decrease their chances of suffering from PTSD when they return.

So what research is there to support this new program? There isn’t any supporting this usage. However, the DOD is spending $120 million to launch this new program.

The article also mentions the fact that EMDR did not make the VA’s list of approved treatments despite its being well researched and effective.

To read the entire article, click here.

Please comment below to let us know what your thoughts are regarding this new Positive Psychology program. Do you think it will be effective in preventing PTSD?

Call for Proposals: 2010 Psychology Beyond Borders Mission Awards

This could be a great opportunity to expand EMDR and make a difference to individuals in need if your proposed project meets the associated criteria!

Psychology Beyond Borders is accepting proposals from mental health professionals for 2010 Psychology Beyond Borders Mission Awards. Winners will receive $5,000 – $15,000 for one year long projects (starting in January of 2010) that meet the criteria outlined below.  Preference will be given to proposed projects with smaller budgets so that a high number of projects can be funded.

Criteria for Projects:

  1. Research to contribute to the body of knowledge about what psychosocial strategies heal (or harm) in prevention, preparedness and response to large scale disaster, armed conflict or terror attacks.
  2. Psychosocial service delivery, including partnerships with response teams in communities impacted by large-scale traumatic events.
  3. Education programs to raise awareness about the psychosocial impacts of disaster, armed conflict or terror attacks and build community competencies in best practice methods of preparedness and intervention
  4. Public policy recommendations to assist in community preparedness, response and recovery associated with large scale traumatic events.
  5. Building a network to enhance international collaboration, knowledge sharing and systems for prevention, preparedness and response to disaster, armed conflict or terror attacks.

Psychology Beyond Borders seeks research and action-oriented projects that contribute to at least two of the five key areas of PBB’s mission. Projects will be evaluated on the basis of how they contribute to the organization’s mission and particularly key area # 1, research. Preference will be given to projects that combine research with more than one other key area.

In order to be eligible, applicants must be affiliated with a university or a non-profit organization.

Apply for a 2010 Psychology Beyond Borders Mission Award

Read Summaries of Past Mission Awards Projects