National & International guidelines

Since 2010, EMDR therapy has been recognized as a psychotherapeutic approach (Prochaska&Norcross, 2010). In 2011, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) in the USA, recognized EMDR psychotherapy among the most evidence-based treatments, as well as the most effective treatment for anxiety, depression and PTSD. Since 2013 it is included in the recommendation issued by the WHO, as the elective psychotherapy for treating PTSD in children, adolescents and adults.

  • UNHCR – World Health Organization MENTAL HEALTH GAP ACTION PROGRAM: Intervention guide module
  • World Health Organization (2013).Guidelines for the Management of Conditions That are Specifically Related to Stress.Geneva, WHO publication.
  • Foa, E.B., Keane, T.M., Friedman, M.J., & Cohen, J.A. (2009). Effective treatments for PTSD:Practice Guidelines of the International Society for Traumatic Stress StudiesNew York: Guilford Press. EMDR was listed as an effective and empirically supported treatment for PTSD, and was given an AHCPR “A” rating for adult PTSD. This guideline specifically rejected the findings of the previous Institute of Medicine report, which stated that more research was needed to judge EMDR effective for adult PTSD. With regard to the application of EMDR to children, an AHCPR rating of Level B was assigned. Since the time of this publication, two additional randomized studies on EMDR have been completed (see below).
  • Haute Autorité de la Santé (France) (2007). Guidelines for the treatment of long term psychiatric conditions – Serious anxiety disorders. The recommended treatments for ESPT are trauma-focused CBT and EMDR.
  • Therapy Advisor (2004-7): An NIMH sponsored website listing empirically supported methods for a variety of disorders. EMDR is one of three treatments listed for PTSD.
  • National Institute for Clinical Excellence(2005).Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): The management of adults and children in primary and secondary care.London: NICE Guidelines. Trauma-focused CBT and EMDR were stated to be empirically supported treatments for choice for adult PTSD.
  • American Psychiatric Association (2004). Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Patients with Acute Stress Disorder and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Association Practice Guidelines. EMDR is recommended as an effective treatment for trauma.
  • Department of Veterans Affairs & Department of Defense (2004, 2017). VA/DoD Clinical Practice Guideline for the Management of Post-Traumatic Stress.Washington, DC: Veterans Health Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs and Health Affairs, Department of Defense.Office of Quality and Performance publication 10Q-CPG/PTSD-04. EMDR was placed in the “A” category as “strongly recommended” for the treatment of trauma.
  • INSERM (2004).Psychotherapy: An evaluation of three approaches.French National Institute of Health and Medical Research, Paris, France. EMDR and CBT were stated to be the treatments of choice for trauma victims.
  • CREST (2003). The management of post-traumatic stress disorder in adults.A publication of the Clinical Resource Efficiency Support Team of the Northern Ireland Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety, Belfast. EMDR and CBT were stated to be the treatments of choice.
  • Dutch National Steering Committee Guidelines Mental Health Care (2003). Multidisciplinary Guideline Anxiety Disorders. Quality Institute Heath Care CBO/Trimbos Institute. Utrecht, Netherlands. EMDR and CBT both designated as treatments of choice for PTSD
  • Bleich, A., Kotler, M., Kutz, I., & Shalev, A.(2002). A position paper of the (Israeli) National Council for Mental Health:Guidelines for the assessment and professional intervention with terror victims in the hospital and in the community.Jerusalem, Israel. EMDR is one of three methods recommended for treatment of terror victims.
  • United Kingdom Department of Health (2001).Treatment choice in psychological therapies and counseling evidence based clinical practice guideline. London, England. Best evidence of efficacy was reported for EMDR, exposure, and stress inoculation
  • Chambless, D.L. et al. (1998).Update of empirically validated therapies, II. The Clinical Psychologist, 51,3-16. According to a taskforce of the Clinical Division of the American Psychological Association, the only methods empirically supported (“probably efficacious”) for the treatment of any post-traumatic stress disorder population were EMDR, exposure therapy, and stress inoculation therapy. Note that this evaluation does not cover the last decade of research.

*Material from the EMDR Institute, Inc.