The Dutch protocol for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) uses two psychological myths as part of the therapeutic instruction: memory works as a video camera and individuals can have a photographic memory. This study explored how participants experience and evaluate such instructions and if these instructions affect their beliefs on memory. Participants received a video, photo, or a control instruction. Participants indicated on a visual analog scale how vivid and emotional they expected to recall the traumatic memory, how credible the therapeutic instruction was, and how reliable they would consider a therapist providing such an instruction. Next, participants completed a memory belief survey. Participants who received the video instruction were most likely to expect to vividly recall a memory. The credibility of the instructions and the reliability of the therapist providing the instruction were at chance level, which might pose problems for the therapeutic alliance and therapy outcome.
- psychological myths
- expectancy effects