Eye-movement desensitisation. Symptom change in post-traumatic stress disorder.
K Vaughan, M Wiese, R Gold, N Tarrier


A novel approach is described for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Eye-movement desensitisation (EMD) requires the patient to generate images of the trauma in the mind and define physiological and emotional arousal states. While concentrating on these states, lateral multisaccardic eye movements are induced. Ten consecutive cases are reported who presented with symptoms originating from a range of traumas. The effectiveness of EMD in reducing symptoms outlined by DSM-III-R is described. An independent rater indicated that eight of the ten cases showed considerable improvement in PTSD symptoms following EMD, which was maintained at follow-up. Particular reference is given to the 'specificity' of EMD in treating symptoms and the changing pattern of effect at follow-up.