Is EMDR More or Less Effective and Efficient Than ExposureCBT

Until 1998 critics of EMDR suggested that claims for its effectiveness were based on comparisons with non-effective therapies, rather than CBT/exposure therapies being demonstrated as effective. There was some truth to this criticism in that the only genuine comparison with CBT/exposure therapy up until 1998 was in the Vaughan et al. (1994) study, in which EMDR was compared with image habituation training (an exposure variant) with some minor advantages for EMDR especially in reducing intrusions.

However, since 1998, seven studies have directly compared EMDR with exposure (Ironson et al., 2002; Jaberghaderi et al. 2004; Lee et al., 2002; Power et al., 2002; Rogers et al., 1999; Rothbaum et al., 2005; and Taylor et al., 2003).

These studies have all been reported on in the 'outcomes' section. If all the direct comparisons with exposure studies, are included, a clear trend is emerging. With the exception of the Taylor et al. (2003) study, all of the other studies show EMDR to be roughly equal in effectiveness with exposure therapies, with a slight trend towards greater efficiency for EMDR (Ironson et al., 2002; Power et al., 2002). The Power et al. study, which is the largest comparison so far with the longest follow up, indicates EMDR was about 50 % faster in achieving its results (a mean of 4.2 sessions, in comparison with a mean of 6.4 sessions for exposure therapy).

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Responses

  • EMILIA HENDERSON
    Is emdr more effective than cbt?
    6 years ago

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