World Health Organization Recognizes the Worldwide Impact of EMDR and its Clinicians

Message to friends of HAP from Carol Martin, HAP Executive Director, on January 16, 2013:

I am pleased to announce two important successes for EMDR and the EMDR Humanitarian Assistance Programs. I attribute much of this to the hard work and dedication of our HAP volunteers and to the pioneering approach that was developed by Francine Shapiro Ph.D.

This recommendation from the World Health Organization reflects the worldwide impact of EMDR and of the many HAP clinicians throughout the world. These clinicians help to build mental health capacity in local communities, bringing hope and healing to those who are suffering from trauma. The World Health Organization (WHO) Guidelines Review Committee in Geneva, Switzerland, has formally approved the recommendation on EMDR in adults and children for PTSD.


World Health Organization (in press). Guidelines for the management of conditions that are specifically related to stress. Geneva, WHO.

Trauma-focused CBT and EMDR therapy are recommended for children, adolescents and adults with PTSD. “Like CBT with a trauma focus, EMDR therapy aims to reduce subjective distress and strengthen adaptive cognitions related to the traumatic event. Unlike CBT with a trauma focus, EMDR does not involve (a) detailed desciptions of the event, (b) direct challenging of beliefs, (c) extended exposure, or (d) homework.”


EMDR is also gaining recognition in Connecticut as HAP responds to the terrible tragedy in Newtown. The events in Newtown have been seared in our collective psyche. I believe that this tragedy will continue to be a part of important efforts towards educating our country and improving mental health services throughout our nation. In the past month, HAP volunteers from the Fairfield County HAP Trauma Recovery Network (TRN) have used their EMDR training to begin the healing process for the community of Newtown.


Please read the article below for more about our work!

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