EMDR Research News March 2012

Here are this month’s recently published, peer-reviewed journal articles related to EMDR. First, I want to express my deep appreciation to Udi Orren for his moving obituary of David Servan-Schreiber. For each article below, you will find the citation, abstract and author contact information (when available). Prior quarterly summaries can be found on the EMDRIA website and a comprehensive listing of all EMDR-related research is available at the Francine Shapiro Library. EMDRIA members can access recent Journal of EMDR Practice and Research articles in the member’s area on the EMDRIA website. Each month I also feature an EMDR video. This month we start with an EMDR video from ABC News 20/20.

Extinction or Reconsolidation
Differences between suppression and transformation in how we recover from traumatic experiences

Memory is central to all learned behavior, and in humans to one’s sense of identity. Sleep and memory processes are deeply entwined. Both are central to our sense of well-being. As Shakespeare wrote in Macbeth,

Sleep that knits up the ravell'd sleeve of care,
The death of each day's life, sore labour's bath,
Balm of hurt minds, great nature's second course,
Chief nourisher in life's feast

Problems with memory processes (and with sleep) are at the root of one of the most pervasive problems in society, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Those with PTSD suffer from memories they cannot escape nor resolve. They cannot escape into sleep because their memories follow them into recurrent nightmares.