Mental Help Net
Basic InformationMore InformationLatest NewsQuestions and AnswersBlog EntriesVideosLinksBook Reviews
Maximizing Effectiveness in Dynamic Psychotherapy Self-Compassion in Psychotherapy101 Healing Stories101 Things I Wish I'd Known When I Started Using HypnosisA Primer for Beginning PsychotherapyA Therapist's Guide to Understanding Common Medical ProblemsACT With LoveAlready FreeAssessment and Treatment of Childhood Problems, Second EditionBad TherapyBecoming MyselfBefore ForgivingBeing a Brain-Wise TherapistBiofeedback for the BrainBody PsychotherapyBody SenseBoundaries and Boundary Violations in PsychoanalysisBrain Change TherapyBreaking ApartBuffy the Vampire Slayer and PhilosophyBuilding on BionCare of the PsycheChoosing an Online TherapistClinical Handbook of Psychological DisordersClinical Intuition in PsychotherapyClinical Pearls of WisdomCo-Creating ChangeCompassion and Healing in Medicine and SocietyConfessions of a Former ChildConfidential RelationshipsConfidentiality and Mental HealthConfidingContemplative Psychotherapy EssentialsCouch FictionCounseling with Choice TheoryCritical Issues in PsychotherapyCrucial Choices, Crucial ChangesDecoding the Ethics CodeDepression 101Depression in ContextDo-It-Yourself Eye Movement Techniques for Emotional HealingDoing CBTDoing ItE-TherapyEncountering the Sacred in PsychotherapyEnergy Psychology InteractiveEssays on Philosophical CounselingEthics in Psychotherapy and CounselingEveryday Mind ReadingExercise-Based Interventions for Mental IllnessExistential PsychotherapyExpressing EmotionFacing Human SufferingFairbairn's Object Relations Theory in the Clinical SettingFamily TherapyFavorite Counseling and Therapy Homework AssignmentsFlourishingFlying ColorsGod & TherapyHandbook of Clinical Psychopharmacology for TherapistsHandbook of Counseling and Psychotherapy with Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual ClientsHealing the Heart and Mind with MindfulnessHealing the Soul in the Age of the BrainHeinz KohutHow and Why Are Some Therapists Better Than Others?How People ChangeHow to Give Her Absolute PleasureHow to Go to TherapyIf Only I Had KnownIn SessionIn Therapy We TrustIn Treatment: Season 1Incorporating Spirituality in Counseling and PsychotherapyIs Long-Term Therapy Unethical?Issues in Philosophical CounselingIt’s Your HourLearning from Our MistakesLetters to a Young TherapistLogotherapy and Existential AnalysisLove's ExecutionerMan's Search for MeaningMeditations on Self-Discipline and FailureMetaphoria: Metaphor and Guided Metaphor for Psychotherapy and HealingMindfulnessMindfulness and AcceptanceMindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for DepressionMindworks: An Introduction to NLPMockingbird YearsMomma and the Meaning of LifeMotivational Interviewing: Preparing People For ChangeMulticulturalism and the Therapeutic ProcessOf Two MindsOn the CouchOne Nation Under TherapyOur Inner WorldOutsider Art and Art TherapyOvercoming Destructive Beliefs, Feelings, and BehaviorsPhilosophical CounselingPhilosophical MidwiferyPhilosophical PracticePhilosophy and PsychotherapyPhilosophy for Counselling and PsychotherapyPhilosophy PracticePhilosophy's Role in Counseling and PsychotherapyPlato, Not Prozac!Process-Based CBTPsychologists Defying the CrowdPsychology, Psychotherapy, Psychoanalysis, and the Politics of Human RelationshipsPsychosis in the FamilyPsychotherapyPsychotherapyPsychotherapy As PraxisPsychotherapy East and WestPsychotherapy for Children and AdolescentsPsychotherapy for Personality DisordersRational Emotive Behavior TherapyRational Emotive Behavior TherapyRationality and the Pursuit of HappinessRecovery OptionsRent Two Films and Let's Talk in the MorningSaving the Modern SoulSecond-order Change in PsychotherapySelf MattersSelf-Compassion in PsychotherapySelf-Determination Theory in the ClinicSexual Orientation and Psychodynamic PsychotherapyStrangers to OurselvesTaking America Off DrugsTales of PsychotherapyThe Art of HypnosisThe Case Formulation Approach to Cognitive-Behavior TherapyThe Compassionate ConnectionThe Crucible of ExperienceThe Education of Mrs. BemisThe Fall Of An IconThe Gift of TherapyThe Great Psychotherapy Debate: The Evidence for What Makes Psychotherapy Work The Husbands and Wives ClubThe Love CureThe Making of a TherapistThe Mummy at the Dining Room TableThe Neuroscience of PsychotherapyThe Neuroscience of Psychotherapy: Healing the Social BrainThe New PsychoanalysisThe Philosopher's Autobiography The Portable CoachThe Portable Ethicist for Mental Health Professionals The Present Moment in Psychotherapy and Everyday LifeThe Problem with Cognitive Behavioural TherapyThe Psychodynamics of Gender and Gender RoleThe Psychotherapy Documentation PrimerThe Real World Guide to Psychotherapy PracticeThe Schopenhauer CureThe Talking CureThe Therapeutic "Aha!"The Therapist's Guide to Psychopharmacology, Revised EditionThe Therapist's Ultimate Solution BookThe UnsayableThe Wing of MadnessTheory and Practice of Brief TherapyTherapyTheraScribe 4.0Thinking about ThinkingThriveToward a Psychology of AwakeningTracking Mental Health OutcomesTreating Attachment DisordersWhat the Buddha FeltWhat Works for Whom? Second EditionWhy Psychoanalysis?Yoga Therapy
Therapist Search
Find a Therapist:
 (USA/CAN only)

Use our Advanced Search to locate a therapist outside of North America.

Related Topics

Psychological Testing
Mental Disorders
Mental Health Professions
Treatments & Interventions

by Fred Freidberg
New Harbinger, 2001
Review by Anthony Dickinson, Ph.D. on Apr 19th 2002

Do-It-Yourself Eye Movement Techniques for Emotional Healing

The claim championed for Friedberg's Eye Movement Technique (EMT) that it may be used to "rapidly reduce emotional stress and redirect thinking in a positive, rational and optimistic way" (p.2) Perhaps permanently, and without the expense of multiple professional therapy sessions! Although cautious to advise sufferers of recurrent trauma (including PTSD, mood & personality disorders) against self-treatment as a sole pathway to emotional stress relief, Friedberg puts forth a structured set of protocols for self-paced therapeutic implementation. Much of the first half of the book is concerned with the stress, stressors, and the promise of EMT in countering stress-related tension and incapacity. Numerous theories attempting to explain the stress-reducing phenomenon following EMT sessions are too briefly discussed, with varying degrees of plausibility. For the practicing therapist or self-healer this is perhaps not a failing of the book, but I was surprised not to find a section dealing with at least the sensory physiology adjunct to applying EMT, or any discussion of its potential interaction with the psychophysiology of the stress experience it seeks to alleviate. 

In the 5th (‘how to do it’ DIY) chapter, we are introduced to the technique itself in a step-by-step fashion, the reader being led through a series of stages with clearly marked progression or repeat indicants given at each stage. One progression (perhaps surprising to the reader, especially given Friedberg's chosen title) is the suggestion that the use of oscillatory eye movements be abandoned, and replaced instead by finger movements. Indeed, the latter would appear to be Friedberg's preferred method of therapeutic interaction with his own clients (though he still calls it EMT?). This instead uses a distractive flip-flop bimanual tapping his clients' hands or shoulders whilst having them silently ponder on questions reminiscent of the therapy school’s of thought derived from Roget or Ellis.

The latter half of the volume is exclusively devoted to providing case studies and extracts of actual therapy sessions from the author’s own clinical archives. Each of these later chapters deal with specific concerns (phobia, panic, chronic pain, personal and social anxieties) with accompanying procedures being retold amidst success stories, mostly with a positive outcome for the client. The most remarkable and repeated claim, however, is not for EMT providing relief across such a wide range of conditions, but in its speed of efficacy -- often within a single session, without requiring repeated administration.

For those trying to help manage, or those actually suffering from the effects of pre-clinical emotional stress conditions, EMT remains worthy of investigation. I would suggest that EMT (albeit received in the form of oscillatory eye movements or bimanual tapping) might at the very least prove a good vehicle in actively disrupting recurrent ruminations and the often-repeated intrusions into ongoing thought processes familiar to the sufferer of emotional stress. Whether Friedberg’s EMT does any more than merely interrupt worrisome replays by distraction (think here of your own experience of trying to get rid of a tune that keeps “going around in your head”), his own case archive would seem to suggest a high degree of success with the technique(s) as illustrated in this volume. Add it to the therapy bookshelf between Rational Emotive Therapy and Biofeedback.


© 2002 Tony Dickinson


Dr. A. R. Dickinson, Dept. of Anatomy & Neurobiology, Washington University School of Medicine

Follow us on Twitter!

Find us on Facebook!

This website is certified by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify.This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information:
verify here.

Powered by CenterSite.Net