Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is a psychotherapeutic approach that has drew considerable attention and become controversial since its development. EMDR, which integrates various components of different psychotherapy schools, is a structured and short-term therapy approach. While it was initially used to reduce traumatic symptoms, recent studies indicate that EMDR may also be efficient in the treatment of various disorders. In this review, the long-term efficacy of EMDR in several disorders was investigated. For this purpose, the studies that examined the effectiveness of EMDR in common psychiatric problems such as post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety disorders and depressive disorders with at least 3-months follow-up measurements were included. Numerous controlled studies show that EMDR is a reliable method for the treatment of PTSD and treatment gains have been maintained in the long term. Moreover, a limited number of studies recently conducted indicate that EMDR gives promising results in the treatment of unipolar depression, panic disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. All in all, it can be concluded that EMDR is more effective than waiting lists and has an effect comparable with empirically supported therapies like cognitive behavioral therapy. However, the long-term follow-up studies with larger sample sizes are needed to reach reliable results.
Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), PTSD, depression, anxiety disorders, long term effects