Therapists trained to provide eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy have a global responsibility. This article summarizes the multiple impacts of high stress events, and their long-term effects on individuals, families, communities, and nations. While it is well documented that EMDR treatment will remediate the individual symptoms of posttraumatic stress, research is still needed to determine how far-reaching such outcomes are. Future studies should determine whether treatment reverses the neurobiological changes, cognitive deficits, and affective dysregulation, which are associated with exposure to traumatic events. Research should also investigate whether successful treatment decreases high-risk and/or perpetrator behavior, and whether these effects are translated into behavioral and attitudinal changes sufficient to bring an end to intergenerational trauma and ethnopolitical conflicts. It seems self-evident that the ideal way to address pressing societal needs, on both local and global levels, is by the integration of science and practice. The article also discusses the development of nonprofit EMDR humanitarian assistance programs, and their essential work in the alleviation of suffering around the world. In addition to recommending the examination of EMDR's efficacy in treating traumatization from direct, natural, structural, and cultural causes, this article advocates that research resources be dedicated for testing interventions in the areas of the world with the greatest needs. The alleviation of suffering is the duty of our profession.
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This Point/Counterpoint concludes the interchange in Greenwald, R. and Shapiro, F. (2010) What is EMDR?: Commentary by Greenwald and Invited Response by Shapiro Journal of EMDR Practice and Research, 4, 170–179. Greenwald Rejoinder: In this rejoinder, I highlight areas of agreement between Shapiro and me that were obscured by Shapiro’s (2010) response to my (Greenwald, 2010) commentary. I also address some of the erroneous statements made by Shapiro (2010) in her arguments against my positions. Finally, I summarize our disagreements, and again assert that until we have an empirical basis for preferring a particular theoretical model of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), it is premature for professional organizations to endorse Shapiro’s model. Shapiro Response: In response to Greenwald, I again confine myself to addressing some of the errors and misconceptions in his arguments in relation to important aspects of EMDR therapy, theory, and research. Further, contrary to his assertion, there is already a sufficient empirical basis to support the preferential use of the adaptive information processing (AIP) model from which the EMDR procedures were formulated. His argument against this position is antithetical to the traditional process by which foundational models are challenged, refined, or replaced. Implications are salient to both training and practice.