Research news

EMDR Publications Database

The EMDR Publications Database has been developed collaboratively using the expertise of the Sheffield School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR) and is provided as a free resource for Association members. The number of members signing up to use the database has increased to over 700, and hopefully, as reports of its usefulness spread, more of you will use it as a resource to support your clinical and research work. You can learn how to access the database here.

The EMDR Publications Database is a collection of peer-reviewed research and dissertations/theses focusing on EMDR. It contains 1861 references, many of which have access to the full text. Some of you will notice this about a hundred references fewer than the previous quarterly update. This reduction is because references to books and book chapters have been removed. We have done this to ensure that the database is only populated with peer-reviewed articles.

References in the database are categorised by keywords or tags relating to the clinical area and study type, allowing for easy browsing. The database can also be searched by terms of interest.

The EMDR Publications Database was updated in April 2024, and 34 new publications have been added. These can be easily viewed by clicking on the ‘NEW’ tag in the EMDR database. Within the NEW tag, you can then select further tags of interest to see what has recently been added for specific topics and research types.

Research/publication type tagNumber of new publications added
Systematic reviews6
Qualitative research2
Case series2
Meta-analysis and network meta-analysis1
Table 1: New publications by research/publication type

Other research types and publication types are included in the database; to view them all, use the ‘NEW’ tag as mentioned above. 

Systematic reviews

Six more systematic reviews have been published since the last update. Given the focus of this edition of ETQ, the review by Schipper-Eindhoven et al. (2023) is topical. It reviews EMDR treatment for people with intellectual disabilities and is referenced in Jo Porter’s article about the same. There is also a review of interventions following traumatic spinal injury (Cotter et al., 2024).

Two reviews look at treatment of the dissociation spectrum, one in children and adolescents (Woolard et al., 2024) and the other is a more wide-ranging review (Wang et al., 2024).

The Lancet Psychiatry Journal hosts a meta-analysis whose results challenge current thinking on psychological interventions for multiple traumas. They showed that psychological interventions, including EMDR, were highly effective treatments for people with a history of multiple traumatic events and concluded that their “results are encouraging for clinical practice and could counteract common misconceptions regarding treatment and treatment barriers.” (Hoppen et al., 2024). The reviews that were included do not include any reference to people with multiple socially inflicted traumas, such as racist attacks.

Mechanism of action

Progress on mechanisms of action is proceeding apace, with six papers being published in the last quarter. The epigenetic evidence for EMDR treatment (through the mechanism of DNA methylation) is boosted by the results of a study on treatment-resistant depression (Carvalho Silva et al., 2024). There is further work on the mechanisms of imagery rescripting (Rameckers et al., 2024) and on autonomic nervous system function after trauma-focused psychotherapy (Zantvoord et al., 2024).

Topic tagNumber of new publications added
Disorders associated with stress5
Table 2: The top three publications by topic (note that some publications have more than one topic tag)

Other topics are included in the EMDR Publications Database. If you are interested in a topic that does not have a tag, you can enter it into the search box to retrieve references. Please see our videos for more information.

The database is a dynamic project, so if you have any suggestions about papers you think are missing or how it might be improved, please do get in touch with the research officer.


Carvalho Silva, R., Martini, P., Hohoff, C., Mattevi, S., Bortolomasi, M., Menesello, V., Gennarelli, M., Baune, B. T., & Minelli, A. (2024). DNA methylation changes in association with trauma-focused psychotherapy efficacy in treatment-resistant depression patients: A prospective longitudinal study. European Journal of Psychotraumatology, 15(1), 2314913. Ovid MEDLINE(R).

Cotter, R., Burns, J., Kaufman, K., Kudla, A., Ehrlich-Jones, L., Wafford, Q. E., & Heinemann, A. W. (2024). Effectiveness of Behavioral and Pharmacologic Interventions for Depressive Symptoms After Spinal Cord Injury: Findings From a Systematic Review. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Ovid MEDLINE(R) Epub Ahead of Print.

Hoppen, T. H., Meiser-Stedman, R., Kip, A., Birkeland, M. S., & Morina, N. (2024). The efficacy of psychological interventions for adult post-traumatic stress disorder following exposure to single versus multiple traumatic events: A meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. The Lancet Psychiatry, 11(2), 112–122. Embase Weekly Updates.

Rameckers, S. A., van Emmerik, A. A. P., Boterhoven de Haan, K., Kousemaker, M., Fassbinder, E., Lee, C. W., Meewisse, M., Menninga, S., Rijkeboer, M., Schaich, A., & Arntz, A. (2024). The working mechanisms of imagery rescripting and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing: Findings from a randomised controlled trial. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 175, 104492. Ovid MEDLINE(R).

Schipper-Eindhoven, S. M., de Knegt, N. C., Mevissen, L., van Loon, J., de Vries, R., Zhuniq, M., & Bekker, M. H. J. (2023). EMDR treatment for people with intellectual disabilities: A systematic review about difficulties and adaptations. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 14, 1328310. Ovid MEDLINE(R) PubMed-not-MEDLINE.

Wang, S., Zheng, S., Zhang, X., Ma, R., Feng, S., Song, M., Zhu, H., & Jia, H. (2024). The Treatment of Depersonalization-Derealization Disorder: A Systematic Review. Journal of Trauma and Dissociation, 25(1), 6–29. Embase Weekly Updates.