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.

Mediation techniques, EMDR and a heuristic approach

I have found that by using mediation techniques with EMDR and a heuristic approach I am able to help people with Dissociative Identity Disorder come out of hiding, and reintegrate with their lost parts. The heuristic approach is so important  for all therapists to use when working with their clients not just dissociative clients.

Heuristic questions are those that investigate and to engage the client’s creative process which brings about transformation. While teaching a Mind Body Psychology course I taught and demonstrated the use of heuristics and use it with my own clients . Mediation techniques, EMDR and a heuristic approach have been very helpful to my clients. It is described in my recently written book.

Has anyone else used this approach?

Jean Pollack, PhD

Licensed Psychologist

EMDR Therapist

Life Coach


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.

Expert: A Person Wise Through Experience

By Jamie Marich, Ph.D., EMDRIA Member
Submitted January 1, 2010

EMDRIA members who know me know that I have a natural devil’s advocate streak. I wish to exercise some of those muscles in this blog post. I do not see this as a scientific retort by any means, just a simple expression of my opinion as a clinician and a qualitative researcher regarding the recent publication of the EMDR Definition Revision by the EMDRIA Board of Directors.

First of all, I am delighted that the EMDRIA Board of Directors employed and disclosed their use of qualitative inquiry in facilitating their review process. However, my question to them is this: Why were only “those practitioners who are esteemed in the EMDR community” with 15 years of more of EMDR experience consulted in this review? Are they the only ones who have valuable information to share about what constitutes EMDR and how it can be best applied in to actual practice settings? For instance, would EMDRIA ever consider that the experience of regular clinicians who went through trainings but are not luminaries in the EMDR movement could be just as valuable? Consider, for instance, the clinician who went through a standard training but went back to his/her practice setting and found the standard protocol too cumbersome to implement. Consider the clinician who, through trial and error, was able to seamlessly incorporate certain elements of EMDR with their existing therapeutic orientation. Consider the EMDR clinician who goes through training and uses EMDR but doesn’t feel inclined, for financial or other reasons, to get involved with EMDRIA. Consider the clinician who is new to EMDR as a clinician but went through EMDR herself as a patient first; there is a double perspective there that can be accessed.

Expert comes from the Latin root that means “a person wise through experience.” I think we often make the false assumption that experience is commensurate with years put in, but this cannot be farther from the truth. Experience is also of Latin origin, meaning knowledge gained through repeated trials. One year of experience could be just as valuable as fifteen depending on the content of that experience. Moreover, the clinician’s experience is not necessarily the most informative when it comes to determining what constitutes EMDR. Talk to the clients who have gone through EMDR treatment; ask them what EMDR means to them as they reflect back on their experiences with EMDR. My guess is that relational elements, not necessarily protocol or procedural elements, are of optimum importance to them. Much of my research interest as a qualitative researcher delves into this area of talking to former clients about their experiences. Trust me EMDRIA, you will get a wealth of information about what EMDR means to the people it serves when you do that.