Recognised treatments for PTSD
Trauma-focused CBT and EMDR are the only psychotherapies recommended for children, adolescents and adults with PTSD. EMDR, refers to a therapy based on Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. It dates back to the 1980s. Its founder, Dr Francine Shapiro, discovered that disturbing thoughts seemed to disappear as she moved her eyes rapidly from side to side. EMDR can also use sounds and tapping.
“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 descriptions of the event, (b) direct challenging of beliefs, (c) extended exposure, or (d) homework.” (p. 1) World Health Organisation (2013). Guidelines for the management of conditions that are specifically related to stress. Geneva, WHO.
It has been the object of much research.
While EMDR is specifically recommended by the World Health Organisation to treat PTSD, is also effective for a range of other issues including anxiety, acute stress, trauma, some phobias, performance anxiety, etc.