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Eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy: Understanding its use for the prevention of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

conference contribution
posted on 28.02.2019, 00:00 by Karen KlocknerKaren Klockner
Organisations, particularly within the emergency services area, have long recognised the need to provide support to those workers who face extremely challenging or traumatic events during their ordinary working day. The resilience of these front-line workers is often challenged on a daily basis and at some stage exposure to these events appears to have an accumulation effect, which can lead to the onset of PTSD. The aim of this paper is to espouse that the provision of Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy to workers after both challenging and/or traumatic events provides an effective early intervention in reducing the risk of the onset of PTSD. EMDR has long been used for the treatment of PTSD and is widely recognised as one of the leading treatment therapies once PTSD is recognised and diagnosed. Its value as a preventative tool however for at-risk front-line workers, those exposed to traumatic events and who are at risk of developing PTSD as part of their ongoing employment experience, has up until now perhaps been overlooked. The value of offering sessions of EMDR therapy before the onset of PTSD may be critical in the ultimate prevention of PTSD and other closely related psychosocial issues. EMDR therapy can be used as an early intervention/preventative approach and workers who receive EMDR can benefit from both increasing their resilience for future events and avoiding the onset of chronic PTSD as a result of their employment. EMDR has been recognised as a best practice treatment for PTSD and is endorsed by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Many organisations, however, have not yet recognised the value of allowing at-risk workers to access EMDR therapy as an early intervention strategy for the prevention of PTSD and other psycho-social issues which can arise from emergency service and first responder professions.


Parent Title

Australian & New Zealand Disaster & Emergency Management Conference 2018: Conference Proceedings

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Broadbeach, Gold Coast


Australian & New Zealand Mental Health Association

Place of Publication

Nerang, Qld

Peer Reviewed


Open Access


Era Eligible


Name of Conference

Australian & New Zealand Disaster & Emergency Management Conference 2018