Book Reviews


Pain and Stress Reduction Book:

Do It Yourself Eye Movement Technique for Emotional Healing


by Fred Friedberg, PhD


New Harbinger (2001)


Eye Movement Technique (EMT) is a powerful stress and pain reduction technique.  EMT involves a tapping of the fingers or a moving of the eyes while focusing on a personal stress or pain symptom.  This is the first book to teach readers how to self-administer this breakthrough technique without the time and expense of going to a therapist.






"In this clearly written book, psychologist Fred Friedberg shows both therapists and their clients how to use EMT in a wide variety of situations from parenting fears to anxiety reactions to fibromyalgia.  EMT helps soothe and calm, often very quickly.  The beauty of it is that it can be used at any time, not just in the therapist's office, thus enabling people to become their own therapist.  A ‘must read' for both therapists and people seeking inner peace and relief from paralyzing worry, anxiety, guilt, depression, and physical pain."


                                    -Aphrodite Matsakis, PhD, author, Post-Traumatic Stress

                                     Disorder and I Can't Get Over It




Better than EMDR, April 1, 2007


Reviewer: E. Ellerbe

Because I've read four other books on EMDR, including its founder's (Francine Shapiro), I can better critique this book. But, on reflection, it has occurred to me that one wouldn't need to know all the EMDR background in order to benefit from this great handbook.

The author allows two methods: eye movement, which you can do yourself by rapidly moving your eyes far left, then far right in steady succession for three minutes. However, this gets tiring and I found the knee tapping less tiring and very effective. So far, I've diminished a severe phobia, cured my fear of heights (by imaging me on top of a stopped ferris wheel), and removed my image of anger toward a parent. I have a short list of other cures I will be doing. The phobia will probably take two more sessions.

I definitely prefer my own livingroom over having a therapist watch me. Many people prefer self-hypnosis for the same reason, albeit a different type of cure. EMT has far surpassed any kind of hypnosis in my case.

This book is a Godsend.




Definitely worth reading, January 27, 2002

Reviewer: A reader

The idea of "be cautious" should apply to any books on the power of the mind... but should not prevent people from learning to use that power. I found the book to be interesting, informative, easy to read (MUCH easier than Shapiro's books) and definately recommend it. I also found that the technique for pain control works... at least for me.


Courtesy of, Inc. or its affliliates. All rights reserved.



Published Study


In a published study (Friedberg, 2004) using EMT in pain patients (with fibromyalgia), I found substantial reductions in anxiety and pain after only 2 sessions of EMT and home practice of the technique. 


Friedberg, F. (2004).  Eye movement desensitization in fibromyalgia: a pilot study Complementary Therapies in Nursing and Midwifery, 10:245-249. 

Best Price $8.70
or Buy New $11.86




Way to go, Fred! Its Feasible, Factual, and Funny!, July 2, 2006

Reviewer: Eleanor B. Brosius "ellyfunt" (Centreville, VA)

THIS is a good CFS/FM book! The research, experience, and humor in this book might be motivation you've been missing to move from desperate, survival mode to a more endurable, maybe even enjoyable, way of being. Even as a psychologist trained to spot sabotage and denial, Fred couldn't see his own contributions to his experience of illness and life for years,... and he doesn't blame you if you can't either. Having blind spots may be a natural part of adapting -- we all seem to do it to some degree.

This book is especially for those who've reached a coping plateau, ready to concede, at least a little, we have influence about how we feel and react emotionally, intellectually, and physically. Acknowledging and using that influence leads to more capacity to deal with our extraordinary physical challenges. Within each one of the practical Steps are several things to consider, implement, and/or practice. Personal stories illustrate the benefits. Each time I pick up this book, I find something interesting, helpful, or supportive. So has every other person with CFS/FM I've shown it to whether it be about why doctor visits go wrong, why vacations are not necessarily helpful, or how to think differently about anger and guilt.

The author is one of us and writes with such easy going, yet profound, honesty. Its easy to identify with the examples. It also feels like Fred is a friend on the journey with us, especially important if support is lacking from friends and family. I identified with Fred as he describes the pedometer experiment. I did that! I have done all of the "9 Ways to Make Yourself Miserable" in Chapter 16. Having progressed from that place, reading the list makes me laugh. I've read the 'miserable' list to others to a mix of laughter, silence, and groans as people recognize and reveal where they are in their coping.

The cognitively, visually impaired will appreciate the book's signifcant white space and small, clearly marked sections. You can skip around and not get lost. There is no index, so I'll be adding sticky notes to my copy to more easily show items to people in my CFS/FM support groups.

Fred and the 7 Steps book are good companions on the CFS/FM journey. I find there is so much good here I won't be bothered by statements requiring all the steps and promises of this or that percentage improvement. Do what you can, do what you are drawn to. You may get less improvement that way, or you may get more since you are honoring yourself. It may take you more or less time, but the author and book provide encouragement and experience of a professional who lives with and works with these conditions which is amazing. Physiological improvement can and often does follow seeking balance and managing activity. Fred has witnessed and experienced that. I have experienced that in my life. This kind of approach is worth it!

Elly Brosius
Northern VA CFS/FMS Support Group
CFSupport at Yahoo! Groups

 Courtesy of, Inc. or its affliliates. All rights reserved.

Review #2: 

...In this cogent book, Friedberg has successfully erased the line

separating mind and body.  His advice can open avenues for health

improvement for anyone suffering with CFS/FM, especially for those

who have previously rejected any treatment involving the psychological

aspects of these illnesses.


Katherine Duff

Author of "The Alchemy of Illness"

(from the Townsend Newsletter by permission)

October, 2006