An EMDR-based intervention for the 'Golfers' Yips': A case series


The yips in golfers is a task-specific movement disorder. Anxiety might play a role in its emergence and persistence. The objective was to report on the effect of an Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) based intervention on the yips by reducing anxiety.

We present a case-series with seven golfers with observed right-handed yips. The participants were treated with EMDR in one or two sessions and were followed for one year. A bespoke Yips Rating Scale (YRS) was determined and golfing skills were assessed at baseline and after one year.

All participants completed treatment without complications. Follow-up data from six golfers after the intervention showed a positive effect of the EMDR based intervention on their yips symptoms. YRS scores improved after the intervention in 6 golfers (p=0.04) and golfers’ performance appeared to improve by an average of 20%.

Anxiety might play a crucial role in the emergence and cultivation of the yips in golfers. The reduction of accompanying and anticipatory anxiety by means of EMDR in golfers seems safe and could be beneficial in diminishing the yips. Larger and better studies are needed to further evaluate the effect of EMDR in the golfer’s yips and other sport-related task-specific movement disorders.






Erik van Wensen
Beorn Nijenhuis
Johannes Zwerver
Pieter-Jan Bogaard

Original Work Citation

van Wenson, E., Nijenhuis, B., Zwerver, J. & Bogaard, P.-J. (2024). An EMDR-based intervention for the 'Golfers' Yips': A case series. Sports Psychiatry, 1–6. doi:10.1024/2674-0052/a000083



“An EMDR-based intervention for the 'Golfers' Yips': A case series,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed July 15, 2024,

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