VISTAS Counseling Families and Adults

VISTAS Online is an innovative publication produced for ACA by Dr. Garry R. Walz and Dr. Jeanne C. Bleuer of Counseling Outfitters, LLC. Its purpose is to provide a means of capturing the ideas, information and experiences generated by the annual ACA Conference and selected ACA Division Conferences. Papers on a program or practice that has been validated through research or experience may also be submitted. This digital collection of peer-reviewed articles is authored by counselors, for counselors. VISTAS Online contains the full text of over 900 proprietary counseling articles published from 2004 to 2017.

EMDR: An Approach to Healing Betrayal Wounds in Couples Counseling

Frederick Capps, Helena Andrade, and Rochelle Cade


Since its introduction by Francine Shapiro in 1989, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) has gained wide acceptance as an efficacious clinical treatment. It is particularly useful in the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) (Alto, 2001). Despite its relative novelty, EMDR has been used to treat survivors, emergency workers, and disaster relief counselors worldwide. EMDR therapists have successfully employed EMDR in Oklahoma City, Belfast, Zagreb, Rwanda, Dunblane, Sarajevo, Columbine, and Londonderry. EMDR has also been used in the treatment of PTSD for combat veterans from World War II, the Korean War, Beirut, and the Vietnam War (Silver & Rogers, 2002, p. xix). EMDR effects exceed those of nonspecific effects shared by all treatments and are independent of client expectations. Moreover, EMDR effects are at least equal to effects of cognitive behavioral therapy, and EMDR requires less time than other models with less client attrition (Silver & Rogers, p. 254). Importantly, the American Psychological Association has listed EMDR as an efficacious treatment for civilian PTSD (Alto, 2001).

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