History of the EMDR Research Foundation

The EMDR Research Foundation envisions a world where people are transformed to wellness and vibrancy by effective, compassionate mental health treatment that is driven by quality research.

2005

  • Incorporated as a Texas corporation
  • Original Board Members | Wendy Freitag, Jim Gach and Rosalie Thomas

2006

  • Received IRS Tax Exemption Letter

2007

  • Foundation had cash balance of $10,000 and completed financial audit

2009

  • Board expanded with the addition of Directors Barbara Hensley, Zona Scheiner, Tonya Edmond and Dennis Hall
  • $100,000 Fundraising Goal Announced

2009-2010

  • First Fundraising Campaign goal of $100,000 is met and exceeded

2010

  • Dissertation Research Award ($5000) Inaugurated – First recipient announced at 2010 EMDRIA Conference

2011

  • Katy Murray added as Director
  • Four $10,000 Research Awards given
  • Visionary Alliance formed
  • Board adopts 5 year strategic plan
    • To increase EMDR research by 10%
    • To outreach to at least 10,000 clinicians
    • To publish guidelines for quality research in EMDR therapy
    • To provide non-monetary support for research
  • Foundation awards Chris Lee with a plaque honoring his hard work at having EMDR therapy recognized as an Evidence Based Treatment by SAMHSA
  • Foundation begins to provide feedback to runner up grant applications to improve the quality of the proposed study

2012

  • Scott Blech added as Director
  • Three separate Grants Awards were given totaling $25,000
  • 150 Visionary Alliance members
  • Translating Research Into Practice (TRIP) begins with publication of first article
  • Inaugural launch of $1,000 Consultation Awards
  • Research Priorities expanded to include suicide, somatic, and medical conditions

2013

  • Two $10,000 Grants Awarded
  • First $1000 Consultation Award given
  • Research Resource Directory becomes available on our website
  • Creation of the EMDR and The Military In Action newsletter
  • Creation of a Clinical Information Newsletter
  • Research Foundation hosted a booth at the Psychotherapy Networker Conference
  • Karen Forte added as director
  • Second Translating Research Into practice (TRIP) article published in the Journal of EMDR Practice and Research

2014

  • $1,000 Research Dissemination Travel Award launched
  • Research Priorities Defined:
    • 1st Priority- Advancing Evidence Based Practice
    • 2nd Priority-Addressing the Global Burden of Trauma
    • 3rd Priority- Building Clinical Evidence
  • $25,000 Grant for 25 Years of EMDR Research Award offered. Fourteen applications were received by the September 1 deadline, with four award recipients being announced in December
  • Early EMDR Interventions Researcher’s Toolkit is created and available online
  • “EMDR Research Foundation Quiz” and “25 Years of Research Crossword Puzzle” offered to increase clinical knowledge of EMDR therapy research
  • Susan Rogers and Susan Brown added as directors

2015

  • The Research Grant Award amount was increased from $10,000 to $25,000
  • Third Translating Research Into Practice (TRIP) article published in the Journal of EMDR Practice and Research
  • Website updated – mobile friendly
  • EMDR Current Research Listing added to website
  • Online grant application process added
  • 2015 EMDRIA Conference theme “Research Around the World – Healing Around the Globe” reaches out to EMDR therapy clinicians, researchers, and supporters throughout the world
  • Informational Handout, 2015 Highlights, and 2015 crossword puzzle avalable online – for use by trainers, regional coordinators, approved consultants
  • Three $25,000 research grants awarded
  • David Sherwood added as director

2016

  • In May, two $25,000 research grants and one grant for $5130 were announced
  • One $5,000 Sandra Wilson Memorial Dissertation Grant Award was announced in May
  • 2016 EMDRIA Conference Theme: “A Decade of Making a Difference in EMDR Therapy and Research” is announced, celebrating the ten year anniversary of the EMDR Research Foundation

2017

  • Two research grants, totaling $32,850 were awarded in the amounts of $25,000 and $7850.
  • The “The Marcia Murray Memorial Fund: Dedicated to Research in Suicide Prevention and Survivor Support” was created in which all monies donated to this fund will be earmarked for research that investigates EMDR therapy with individuals at high risk of suicide and those who have been impacted by the trauma of suicide loss or exposure to suicide attempts.
  • The EMDR Fidelity Rating Scale (EFRS) is now housed on our website and is available for use in research and/or clinical practice to evaluate adherence to EMDR therapy’s standard eight-phase treatment approach and three-pronged protocol.
  • We continue to offer our Clinical and EMDR and the Military in Action e-newsletters, Early Intervention Researcher’s Toolkit, Research Resource Directory and other resources for researchers and clinicians interested in EMDR therapy research.

2018

  • Three research grants, totaling $75,000 were awarded to expand the evidence base for EMDR therapy across a range of populations and disorders, including improving addiction-focused EMDR therapy, EMDR treatment in PTSD following Acute Coronary Syndromes, and treating suicidal drivers.
  • The “EMDR Early Intervention (EEI) Fund” was created in which all monies donated to this fund will be earmarked for research that explores the long-term effectiveness of EEI and evaluates whether it can prevent the eventual development of PTSD. Examples of positive results to date have included the use of EEI in groups of children following an earthquake, war refugees living in refugee camps, individuals and groups of women following sexual assault, victims of a geopolitical crises, groups of women post-diagnosis of breast cancer, and children living in situations of ongoing violence.
  • Previous research grant awardees, Lycia D. de Voogd and Erno J. Hermans of Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour at Radboud University in The Netherlands, published a study on how eye movements may reduce fear-related trauma. One researcher noted, “There has not been enough research towards the execution of eye movements following trauma recall. Thanks to the support of the EMDR Research Foundation, this research will hopefully benefit more people with fear-related trauma.” To read the study, please visit the  Journal of Neuroscience.
  • Previous research grant awardee, Amanda Roberts, PhD, MA, published a study on how EMDR may be effective and safe in the psychological treatment of an oncology population. To read the study, please visit the  Journal of EMDR Practice and Research.

2019

  • Two research grants, totaling $50,000 were awarded to expand the evidence base for EMDR therapy across a range of populations and disorders, including Anorexia Nervosa and PTSD in Forensic Mental Health Services.
  • Previous research grant awardee, Marcel van den Hout of Utrecht University, Netherlands, published the study “Early intervention with eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy to reduce the severity of posttraumatic stress symptoms in recent rape victims: study protocol for a randomised controlled trial” To read the study, please visit the European Journal of Psychotraumatology.
  • Previous research grant awardee, Marco Pagani, MD PhD of the Institute of Cognitive Sciences and Technologies, published the study “Neurobiological features and response to eye movement desensitization and reprocessing treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder in patients with breast cancer”  evaluates the efficacy of EMDR as compared to Treatment as Usual in breast cancer patients with PTSD. To read the study, please visit the European Journal of Psychotraumatology.
  • Previous research grant awardee, Ruth Lanius M.D., Ph.D. of the Departments of Neuroscience and Psychiatry at Western University and Bessel van der Kolk, M.D. of the Trauma Center, published the study “Overlapping frontoparietal networks in response to oculomotion and traumatic autobiographical memory retrieval: implications for eye movement desensitization and reprocessing”  investigates how oculomotion ie eye-movements influence the retrieval of traumatic memories. To read the study, please visit the European Journal of Psychotraumatology.
  • In honor of the memory of Dr. Francine Shapiro, the EMDR Research Foundation has established a Francine Shapiro Memorial Fund.
  • EMDR and EMDR Research Foundation in the News – Chicago First Responders benefit from EMDR therapy. View interview here.