Recent Releases

The EMDR Foundation and EMDRIA Create New Strategic Partnership

(Austin, TX) February 15, 2021: The EMDR Foundation (Foundation) and the EMDR International Association (EMDRIA) are excited to announce the creation of a strategic partnership between the Foundation and EMDRIA. This new partnership will create new opportunities to advance research in EMDR and the translation of research into clinical practice in the EMDR community.

The Board of the Foundation and the Board of EMDRIA have been meeting together for extended sessions over the last several months to clarify direction and create a unified strategic plan. This work has been guided by a consultant with broad experience in organizational partnerships and strategic planning. The work will continue as the Boards meet over the coming months to define policies and how programming will be aligned between the two organizations. Both EMDRIA and the Foundation’s mission will be enhanced by a unified work plan and coordinated governance.

“The formalization of a partnership makes so much sense,” said Wendy Freitag, Ph.D., President of the Foundation. “The Foundation Board believes that aligning with EMDRIA and creating a formal partnership will serve the Foundation in several ways. By creating aligned strategic plans and priorities, the two organizations will maximize the impact each has on its unique scope of work. We are building a more coordinated communications plan so the work of the Foundation will be amplified more efficiently to EMDRIA members and the EMDR community at large.”

Wendy Byrd, LPC, LMFT, EMDRIA President concurs and says, “EMDRIA is fully committed to the success of the Foundation’s mission. Our Board is 100% in donating to the Foundation.”  She adds, “One of the strategic goals of EMDRIA is to ensure that research in EMDR advances. We want all EMDR clinicians to be research-informed. We also recognize that the research must be of sufficient weight and impact to influence policy and practice broadly in mental health across the globe. As an organization, EMDRIA has committed to providing in-kind support so that the Foundation can devote more resources to its important programming priorities.”

The Foundation will continue its important work in funding research projects already underway and receiving proposals from around the globe for consideration. Additionally, as the partnership matures, the Foundation hopes to grow in its reach for donors and other funding sources that will expand programming. Both Byrd and Freitag note, “As we enter this partnership, we expect to continue the important work the Foundation has ongoing. As the partnership expands, we anticipate broader and deeper programming for the Foundation to help expand research, knowledge and the practice of EMDR therapy in both the U.S. and globally.”

The EMDR Foundation is pleased to announce it has received a generous donation from the 1st Virtual Summit of EMDR Therapy with Children & Adolescents. These funds will support the Hope for Children Fund, a dedicated fund used to support research on Eye Movement and Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy for children and adolescents.

Founded in 2006, the EMDR Foundation is the only organization worldwide dedicated to the promotion of quality, unbiased research in EMDR therapy. EMDR is evidence-based psychotherapy effective in the treatment of persons who have experienced trauma.

The 1st Virtual Summit of EMDR Therapy with Children & Adolescents was held in November 2018 for mental health professionals and EMDR-trained clinicians to learn more about the latest research and practice of EMDR therapy for children and adolescents. Ana Gomez, Chair of the Summit, stated, “We are pleased to donate a portion of the proceeds from the Summit to the Foundation’s Hope for Children Fund, as this fund represents the Summit’s goal of working with traumatized children and adolescents.” Created in honor of Carol York, the Hope for Children Fund is a dedicated research fund for those donors of the Foundation who want to direct their resources to support EMDR therapy research with children. York died in a tragic auto accident in October 2015. She was a pioneer in working with children and was committed to enhancing the professionalism of EMDR therapy.

According to the 2011-2012 National Survey of Children’s Health, almost half the nation’s children have experienced at least one or more types of serious childhood trauma. Early intervention in response to crises, whether mass shootings, individual violence, accidents, or natural disasters has the potential to prevent or mediate the impact of trauma, and later development of PTSD, which is why the Foundation is funding additional research to determine the most effective responses to these events.

“This generous donation from the Summit will be instrumental in furthering this important research impacting children and adolescents affected by trauma,” said Wendy J. Freitag, Ph.D., President of the EMDR Foundation. Each year, the Foundation awards approximately $50,000-$150,000 in research grants to EMDR therapy students and practitioners through a careful and stringent application process.

To learn more about the EMDR Foundation and Hope for Children Fund, visit emdrrfoundation.org/donate/the-carol-york-memorial-fund/.

The EMDR Foundation is pleased to announce the release of a study on how eye movements may reduce fear-related trauma. Funded by the EMDR Foundation, this study, “Eye-movement intervention enhances extinction via amygdala deactivation” examines the use of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), evidence-based psychotherapy effective in the treatment of persons who have experienced trauma.

In a world filled with trauma from both natural events such as hurricanes and earthquakes to the human tragedy of war and terror, there is an ever-growing need for effective treatments for those experiencing these traumatic events. According to the National Institutes of Health, Department of Veteran Affairs, and Sidran Institute, 70% of adults in the U.S. have experienced some type of traumatic event at least once in their lives, equating to approximately 223.4 million people.

Founded in 2006, the EMDR Foundation is the only organization worldwide dedicated to the promotion of quality, unbiased research in EMDR therapy. Scientific research has established EMDR therapy as effective for post-traumatic stress, but more research still needs to be done. “Early Intervention in response to crises, whether mass shootings, individual violence, accidents, or natural disasters has the potential to prevent or mediate the impact of trauma, and later development of PTSD,” said Wendy J. Freitag, PhD., President of the EMDR Foundation. “We need additional research to determine the most effective responses to these events.”

Each year, the Foundation awards approximately $50,000-$150,000 in research grants to EMDR therapy researchers, practitioners, and students through a careful and stringent application process. Authored by Lycia D. de Voogd and Erno J. Hermans of Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition, and Behaviour at Radboud University in The Netherlands, this recent study provides an account of how behavioral manipulations of the working memory and suppressing amygdala activity—the part of the brain involved with the experiencing of emotions—can alter retention of emotional memories.

One researcher noted, “There has not been enough research toward the execution of eye movements following trauma recall. Thanks to the support of the EMDR Foundation, this research will hopefully benefit more people with fear-related trauma.” If you would like to learn more about this study, please visit https://www.jneurosci.org/content/38/40/8694.