Valentina Rossi (Relatore Prof Mario Bonato)
University of Padova – Department of General Psychology – Bachelor’s Degree Course in Psychological Science


The first time I was introduced to the Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR) was in 2007 as a patient. Since I was personally involved, I thought it could have been interesting to analyze this controversial treatment, years later, from the point of view of a student graduating in Psychology.
From the literature search that I have conducted and from some psychotherapists’ personal opinions, I realized that some skepticism prevails on the topic. For this reason, I decided to present this treatment from an impartial point of view, discussing both the positive and the negative opinions that the scientific community has published so far.
This document was written to present the EMDR as a treatment applied to posttraumatic stress disorders and, specifically, by placing particular attention on a certain category of patients: children.
In the first chapter, the reader will find an allusion to the definition of posttraumatic stress disorders and a brief presentation of how such pathology could be treated through different psychotherapies.
The second chapter was intentionally focused exclusively on the EMDR, on how it was born, on the debate regarding its effectiveness, and on the complex mechanisms which would explain how this therapy was recognized, in 2013, by the World Health Organization.
In the third chapter, instead, the focus was placed on the EMDR utilized in young patients, and in particular, thanks to a collaboration with the Psychotherapist Rossella Sterpone and the “Azienda Ospedaliera SS. Antonio e Biagio e Cesare Arrigo” of Alessandria, I was able to present a real clinical case with the aim of
providing a sense of pragmatism to the main topic.
Overall, I emphasized the subjectivity of the specific situations to choose the best therapy that fits each case at hand.