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Does EMDR therapy work online?

Research suggests that Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy delivered online can be effective in addressing various mental health concerns. Multiple studies have provided evidence supporting the efficacy of online EMDR therapy, particularly in the following aspects:

  1. Trauma Recovery:
    Numerous studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of online EMDR therapy in treating trauma-related conditions. Whether the traumatic experiences are recent or longstanding, virtual delivery of EMDR has shown positive outcomes in reducing symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
  2. Symptom Reduction:
    Online EMDR has been found to be effective in reducing a range of symptoms associated with anxiety, depression, and other mental health disorders. The therapy’s capacity to target and process distressing memories contributes to overall symptom relief.
  3. Therapeutic Alliance:
    Research indicates that the therapeutic alliance, or the relationship between the therapist and the client, remains strong and effective in online EMDR therapy. This is essential for the success of any therapeutic intervention, and the virtual format does not appear to hinder the development of a positive therapeutic relationship.
  4. Accessibility and Reach:
    Online EMDR therapy has proven to be accessible and convenient for a broader range of individuals. It eliminates geographical barriers, allowing people from various locations to access specialized EMDR treatment without the need for in-person sessions.
  5. Adaptation of Bilateral Stimulation:
    One concern with online EMDR therapy was the adaptation of bilateral stimulation, a key component of traditional EMDR involving eye movements. However, research suggests that alternative forms of bilateral stimulation, such as tapping or auditory cues, can be effectively employed in the virtual setting. Also, if accessing the therapy with a laptop, desktop or tablet (rather than a phone) eye movements can still be an effective form of bilateral stimulation.
  6. Consistent Treatment Outcomes:
    Studies comparing in-person and online delivery of EMDR therapy have shown consistent treatment outcomes, indicating that the virtual format does not compromise the effectiveness of the intervention.
  7. Patient Satisfaction:
    Patient satisfaction with online EMDR therapy is reported to be high. Clients appreciate the convenience, flexibility, and reduced stigma associated with receiving therapy in the comfort of their own space.

For more information on the research please see this article: https://etq.emdrassociation.org.uk/case-study/online-emdr-is-effective-its-official/

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