Developing the evidence base for attachment informed EMDR

I am delighted to be leading an EMDR UK funded pilot study, exploring the best way to research online EMDR for the kind of attachment-informed complexity which sometimes leads to complex PTSD.

This project will test a research design which could yield data in the future on whether attachment-informed EMDR is at least as effective as the standard protocol for this client group.

Surveys of therapists and clients have indicated that online EMDR is as acceptable as in person EMDR (Bursnall et al., 2022), and service evaluations of online EMDR have indicated its effectiveness (McGowan, Fisher, Havens, & Proudlock, 2021).  The project I am leading will collect prospective data from clients who will be randomised to receive either AI-EMDR or EMDR online, with the aim of gathering more real-world data on the effectiveness of online EMDR for clients presenting with some symptoms of complex PTSD.  It also responds to Laliotis et al.’s (2021) call for more research on EMDR protocols, as it will use the EMDR Fidelity Rating Scale (EFRS; Korn, Maxfield, Smyth, & Stickgold, 2018) and test an innovated version of the EFRS for AI-EMDR which could be used in future research.

This is where you come in!

As Beverly wrote in her interview in the last ETQ, important research that moves our profession forward cannot happen without clinical trial therapists volunteering their time to conduct therapy to protocol. 

If you are ever frustrated by the slowness of service managers to commission more EMDR therapy for clients – here is an opportunity to help build the evidence base with the kind of hard data that can influence commissioning decisions.

So – if you’ve ever wanted to gain more experience and insight into the research process, but just haven’t had time to design your own research – this is your chance!

We are currently recruiting accredited EMDR practitioners who already deliver online standard protocol EMDR in private practice, often to clients presenting with attachment issues. 

Clinical trial therapists will receive full training in how to use the EFRS, and free supervision for your research case load, as well as payment for your clinical time.

We are also eager to hear from consultant supervisors who could assist us with the supervision and fidelity checks required for robust practice-based research.

To find out more or to apply to join our research team for this exciting project, please go to .

We look forward to hearing from you,

Christine Ramsey-Wade

Psychological Sciences Research Group

University of the West of England, Bristol


Bursnall, M., Thomas, B. D., Berntsson, H., Strong, E., Brayne, M. and Hind, D.  (2022). Clinician and patient experience of internet-mediated eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing therapy.  Journal of Psychosocial Rehabilitation and Mental Health, 9, 251–262. doi:10.1007/s40737-022-00260-0

Korn, D. L., Maxfield, L., Smyth, N. J., & Stickgold, R. (2018). EMDR fidelity rating scale: The manual. Retrieved from http://

Laliotis, D., Luber, M., Oren, U., Shapiro, E., Ichii, M., Hase, M., . . . Jammes, J.  (2021). What is EMDR therapy? Past, present, and future directions.  Journal of EMDR Practice and Research, 15,(4), 186-201. doi:10.1891/EMDR-D-21-00029

McGowan, I.W., Fisher, N., Havens, J. and Proudlock, S.  (2021)  An evaluation of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy delivered remotely during the Covid–19 pandemic.  BMC Psychiatry 21:560. doi: 10.1186/s12888-021-03571-x