Scientific & Research Committee Update
The Scientific and Research Committee (SRC) is excited to share with you the new scientific and research strategy approved by the Board of Trustees in March 2023. The SRC was established to advance EMDR research; it consists of research experts from various domains who meet virtually monthly.
Broadly, the new strategy aims to consolidate and strengthen the evidence supporting the role of EMDR as the primary intervention for preventing and treating PTSD in children, adolescents, and adults. We will address the restrictive caveats in the NICE guidance on the treatment of PTSD, by consolidating existing research and commissioning new studies to develop evidence to advocate for change.
The Scientific and Research Strategy 2023-2026
The EMDR Association UK Research Strategy Action Plan focuses on several key objectives aimed at enhancing the understanding and application of EMDR within the mental health community.
The SRC has several challenges, including increasing awareness about its goals and function, engaging with its members and fostering effective collaborations. A crucial medium-term objective is to address the caveats within NICE guidance related to using EMDR for children and adults in preventing and treating PTSD while ensuring that EMDR continues to be endorsed for delivery by statutory agencies. In the long term, the SRC aims to broaden the evidence base supporting the use of EMDR for the treatment of additional conditions, including depression and psychosis.
The limited membership of the SRC and the modest resources of the association mean that careful curation and a strong focus will be key to success.
“The man who chases two rabbits catches neither“. Confucius
- Communicate the strategy and activities of the SRC through various channels, such as a new ‘research stream’ at the annual conference, workshops, newsletters, and digital platforms. By keeping members informed and engaged, the SRC aims to foster greater collaboration and support for their research objectives and increased engagement with the SRC.
- Increase awareness and utilisation of the EMDR research database.
- Expand EMDR’s evidence base to address the caveats in NICE guidance that limit the use of EMDR in the treatment and prevention of PTSD. Work in collaboration with academic institutions to evaluate existing EMDR evidence. This collaboration will involve a comprehensive review of studies from the EMDR research database, with a particular focus on those directly relevant to the NICE guidance. The evaluation will identify any missed evidence or discrepancies in the guidance and help inform recommendations for further research.
- Create summary papers of practice-based evidence from systematic reviews of existing evidence contained in our research database. We are currently working on summary papers for EMDR and PTSD/military trauma, traumatic brain injury, addiction and G-TEP.
- Analyse clinical databases from sources like IAPT services, Northern Ireland, and military centres to gather practice-based evidence of EMDR’s effectiveness in treating PTSD. We hope this additional information will justify advocating for EMDR as a preferred prevention and treatment option in national guidance.
- Commission new studies. The SRC will identify areas where evidence of EMDR’s effectiveness is lacking and develop research protocols to address these gaps. We will collaborate with research partners, including universities or clinical trials units, to conduct these studies, ensuring that the research is carried out efficiently and effectively.
- As the SRC accumulates evidence from the research database, clinical database analysis, and newly commissioned studies, a comprehensive report will be compiled to be shared with key stakeholders, including policymakers, healthcare professionals, and the wider EMDR community. Where the evidence supports it, the report will advocate for changes in national guidance based on the evidence provided. The SRC will monitor the impact of these efforts and adjust the strategy as needed to ensure continued progress in promoting EMDR.
By executing this comprehensive action plan, the EMDR Association UK’s SRC aims to promote awareness and utilisation of EMDR research, challenge the current NICE guidance, and commission additional research that provides a more complete understanding of EMDR’s effectiveness in preventing and treating PTSD and other mental health conditions based on a sound and comprehensive analysis of the evidence base.
EMDR publications database
The SRC has commissioned the School of Health and Related Sciences (ScHARR) at the University of Sheffield to create the EMDR publications database of all published EMDR research. This valuable resource is live and available free to association members.
Call for open paper submissions for the annual conference
We invite all members to submit open papers or ideas for poster presentations for our next annual conference. This is an excellent opportunity to showcase your research and contribute to the growing body of knowledge on EMDR. To submit your paper, please send it to our Research Officer (firstname.lastname@example.org). We look forward to receiving your submissions!
Invitation to join the SRC
We are currently seeking new members to join the SRC. We are keen to increase representation from Scotland. If you have relevant expertise and would like to contribute to the advancement of EMDR research, please consider joining our committee. This is an invaluable opportunity to link with the EMDR Association scientific community providing the opportunity to collaborate with other research experts and help shape the future of EMDR in the UK and beyond. Please contact the research officer for more information.
Survey on therapists’ beliefs about memory
Lastly, we invite you to participate in a survey examining therapists’ beliefs about memory. Full information about the survey can be found on the Bulletin Board . Your participation will provide valuable insights, and we hope to hear about the results of this study at our next annual conference.