Francine Shapiro, born 18 February 1948, is an American psychologist and educator who originated and developed EMDR, a form of psychotherapy for resolving the symptoms of traumatic and other disturbing life experiences.
In 1987, she made the chance observation that moving her eyes from side to side appeared to reduce the disturbance of negative thoughts and memories. This experience led her to examine this phenomenon more systematically. Working with approximately 70 volunteers, she developed standardized procedures to maximize therapeutic outcomes, conducted additional research and a published randomized controlled study with trauma victims. After further research and elaboration of the methodology, she published a textbook in 1995 detailing the eight phases of this form of psychotherapy. EMDR is now recommended as an effective treatment for trauma in numerous international practice guidelines, including those of the American Psychiatric Association and the Department of Defense.