In 1987, psychologist Dr. Francine Shapiro made the chance observation that eye movements can reduce the intensity of disturbing thoughts, under certain conditions. Dr. Shapiro studied this effect scientifically and, in 1989, she reported success using Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) to treat victims of trauma in the Journal of Traumatic Stress. Since then, EMDR has developed and evolved through the contributions of therapists and researchers all over the world and has been extensively researched and proven effective for the treatment of trauma.
EMDR is a set of standardized protocols that incorporates elements from many different treatment approaches. As EMDR is a mental health intervention, it should only be offered by properly trained and licensed mental health clinicians.