Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a:

is a form of psychotherapy developed by Francine Shapiro in the 1980s that was originally designed to alleviate the distress associated with traumatic memories such as post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In EMDR, the person being treated recalls distressing experiences whilst doing bilateral stimulation, such as side-to-side eye movement or physical stimulation, such as tapping either side of the body.

Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) is a:

pseudoscientific approach to communication, personal development, and psychotherapy created by Richard Bandler and John Grinder in California, United States, in the 1970s.

NLP Akademie Schweiz published a history of EMDR and similar treatments, with articles by, among others, Connirae Andreas and John Grinder. They suggest that EMDR was derived from earlier NLP principles.

In particular, they claim Francine Shapiro worked for Grinder:

John Grinder is quoted (from an email):

Francine Shapiro worked in my office (the company of Grinder, Delozier and Associates, Inc., GDA) on17th Ave in SantaCruz, California in the early ’80’s. She was a harding working woman and we all appreciate the quality of her work there.

The document also includes a copy of an article Shapiro purportedly wrote for Holistic Life Magazine in 1985. In it, she describes the NLP theory of eye accessing cues.

If that's true, it makes sense to see EMDR to be heavily inspired by NLP, yet in Francine Shapiro public accounting of how she invented EMDR she doesn't speak about her NLP influence.

Are the claims of her having written that article and worked for Grinder true?

  • After quite a bit of searching, I've got nothing vaguely concrete regarding the claim of them working together or writing any specific article. @Oddthinking Or even anything to indicate that there was a "Holistic Life" magazine in the '80s or ever (many variations containing "Holistic", but no match, no trace of Schapiro there). Jun 30 at 3:27
  • 1
    @JiminyCricket.: The article is reproduced in the document linked above. I'd rather see independent confirmation, but if it is a lie, that is a lot of effort to go to to fake up the article.
    – Oddthinking
    Jun 30 at 3:43


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