Research published in Psychology Research and Behavior Management, http://dx.dol.org.10.2147/PRBM.552268, seems to indicate that when comparing the use of EMDR to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) in the treatment of trauma, EMDR may have an advantage in terms of efficiency. Furthermore, the same study also suggests that there is reason to believe there are two very different brain processes going on when responding to each of these therapies.
We used to believe that the use of CBT or even Exposure Therapy, would result in clients eventually getting used to their memories, regardless of how horrific such memories were, and the result would be that the memories would have less of an impact on the client. But what the traditional theories did not figure into the mix was the other emotional stuff that gets caught up in all of that trauma. Things like anger, guilt and shame. And, it turns out, these emotions are part of the traumatic memory that keep a person stuck. Because of the unique nature of the EMDR model, these emotions are released along with other aspects of the memory. EMDR may also may be superior in terms of efficiency with regards to overall symptom reduction, especially when it comes to single case traumas. Essentially, a client gets more bang for their buck with EMDR. Research shows that with EMDR fewer treatment sessions are required for the same outcome. In fact, some studies indicate a greater decrease in intrusive symptoms with the use of EMDR versus 4 other trauma therapeutic treatment models.
Research is currently underway with regards to the use of EMDR in treating any number of other disorders, as well as what it is involving the use of bilateral stimulation that seems to make symptom reduction so rapid and so dramatic.