All Press Releases for October 18, 2012

EMDR International Association Responds to Errors and Omissions in the July 2012 IOM Report on PTSD

The EMDR International Association notes errors and omissions in the portrayal of E.M.D.R. therapy in the Institute of Medicine (IOM) July 2012 report on the Treatment for PTSD in Military and Veteran Populations: Initial Assessment.

    AUSTIN, TX, October 18, 2012 /24-7PressRelease/ -- The EMDR International Association (EMDRIA) notes errors, misquotes, misrepresentations, and omissions in the portrayal of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy in the Institute of Medicine (IOM) July 2012 report on the Treatment for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Military and Veteran Populations: Initial Assessment. The inaccuracies are serious enough to bias the conclusions of the IOM study and call into question the validity of the document.

The findings of key studies that reported positive outcomes for EMDR were misrepresented and used to highlight other therapeutic modalities. A number of studies demonstrating positive outcomes using EMDR were excluded without apparent justification. The IOM report also failed to consider many additional studies reporting the benefits of EMDR therapy.

A number of meta-analyses have been conducted to evaluate and compare relative efficacy of treatments for PTSD. These meta-analyses have found no difference in outcome between cognitive behavioral approaches such as Prolonged Exposure (PE) and EMDR, yet the IOM Initial Assessment uses them to express support for PE. EMDR's superiority with a larger treatment effect, less treatment time compared to other therapies, and EMDR's significantly lower drop-out rate go unmentioned. The stated conclusions in the IOM report spotlight PE, but from an objective scientific perspective, all the statements made about PE should be applied to EMDR therapy. Furthermore, EMDR is one of four evidence-based psychotherapies approved for the treatment of PTSD by the Departments of Defense and Veterans' Administration.

More soldiers have committed suicide than have died in the war in Afghanistan. The military/veteran mental health system is overwhelmed and our military men and women need all the evidence-based psychotherapies as treatments to alleviate human suffering and counteract the enormous wave of tragic outcomes. There is a real need to conduct research to investigate which type of therapy (e.g., EMDR, PE, etc.) is more effective with which types of trauma, symptom pattern, presentation, or personality. It is time to best match treatment to client needs. We have an ethical mandate and a moral responsibility to provide our troops and veterans with all the best evidence-based treatments available. The IOM report does a disservice to those in need by attempting to undermine the efficacy and effectiveness of EMDR therapy as a treatment for PTSD.

EMDRIA's complete response can be found on the web at:

Formed in 1995, the EMDR International Association is a professional association where EMDR practitioners and EMDR researchers seek the highest standards for the clinical use of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR).

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Mark Doherty
EMDR International Association
Austin, Texas
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