A controlled comparison of progressive counting and eye movement desensitization & reprocessing

Citation: Greenwald, R., McClintock, S. D., & Bailey, T. D. (2013). A controlled comparison of progressive counting and eye movement desensitization & reprocessing. Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment, & Trauma, 22, 981-996.

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Abstract

Ten therapists who were already trained and experienced in eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) received training in progressive counting (PC), a newer trauma resolution method. Nineteen volunteers with single-incident trauma or loss were assigned to a therapist and then randomized to treatment condition; 15 completed treatment to termination criteria or until the 4th session. Participants in both conditions experienced significant reductions in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, memory-related distress, and presenting problems at one week posttreatment, and maintained at 12-week follow-up, with no significant differences in outcomes, treatment efficiency, or dropout rate. The preliminary findings of this pilot study suggest that PC is an efficient, well-tolerated, and effective trauma treatment that is relatively easy for therapists to master.