The Efficacy of Online Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)-Informed Therapy for Clients with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Symptoms

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)



Date of Award

Fall 2021


The effects of EMDR-informed therapy via an online platform for individuals with PTSD symptoms was examined using a single case multiple baselines across participant design. The study sessions were “EMDR-informed,” meaning they were patterned after elements of the basic EMDR protocol established by founder Francine Shapiro (Shapiro, 1989, 2017) but were not proven to meet the standards of EMDR therapy based on the EFSR (EMDR Fidelity Rating Scale; EMDR Foundation, n. d.). The sessions in this study did not meet those requirements and therefore cannot be represented as EMDR therapy; however, many of the interventions in the sessions were inspired by EMDR therapy and therefore “EMDR-informed.”Adult individuals who met criteria for a DSM-5 Criterion A trauma (exposure to actual or threatened death, serious injury, or sexual violence) and who were currently experiencing PTSD symptoms (intrusion, avoidance, negative mood or cognitions, alterations in arousal/reactivity) were invited to participate in the study. Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist (PCL-5) was used weekly to establish baseline functioning during A phase as well as treatment response during B phase. Each participant was interviewed by the researcher at the beginning and end of the study using the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale for DSM-5, Past Week Version (CAPS-5). Data were analyzed using level, trend, variability, overlap, immediacy, and consistency. Percentage of Non-Overlapping Data (PND), and Percentage Exceeding the Mean (PEM), were used to analyze overlap and consistency. Results differed between the two effect size measures. Using PND, there were no treatment effects. Using PEM, three participants experienced large treatment effects and one experienced a small treatment effect. When comparing the percentage of score decrease from pre/post CAPS-5 scores all participants experienced a decrease in PTSD symptoms and therefore some level of treatment effectiveness. Three of the five participants strongly confirmed the social validity of EMDR-informed therapy via TMH. Limitations, suggestions for future research, clinical implications, and conclusions are presented.


Chris Simpson

Subject Categories

Counseling | Social and Behavioral Sciences