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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Three co-researchers’ experiences during their first session of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing Peterson, Brett


Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR; Shapiro, 1989a, 1989b, 1995) is a relatively new procedure used primarily for treating posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This study is the first to systematically investigate the moment-to moment experiences of PTSD victims during their first treatment session. Using variations of Interpersonal Process Recall (Elliot, 1994), and Colaizzi's (1978) phenomenological research methodology, findings confirmed many of Shapiro's (1995) descriptions of experience, with nothing of a disconfirming nature being discovered. Three distinct patterns of co-researcher experience were identified, with one co-researcher reaching full in-session resolution of her baseline measures. Further, three broad categories of experience were discovered (Participant Experiences and Spectator Experiences [Cochran, 1990]; and Treatment Specific Effects); each of which was further found to consist of four dimensions, or components, of experience. Movement from the Participant to Spectator realm was consonant with co-researchers' working through, contextualizing and making meaning of trauma-related memories.

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