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Open Access EMDR and Phantom Limb Pain: Theoretical Implications, Case Study, and Treatment Guidelines

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This article reviews the literature on EMDR treatment of somatic complaints and describes the application of Shapiro's Adaptive Information Processing (AIP) model in the treatment of phantom limb pain. The case study explores the use of EMDR with a 38-year-old man experiencing severe phantom limb pain 3 years after the loss of his leg and part of his pelvis in an accident. Despite treatment at several rehabilitation and pain centers during the 3 years, and the use of opiate medication, he continued to experience persistent pain. After 9 EMDR treatment sessions, the patient's phantom limb pain was completely ablated, and he was taken off medication. Effects were maintained at 18-month follow-up. The clinical implications of this application of EMDR are explored.

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Keywords: ADAPTIVE INFORMATION PROCESSING; EMDR; PAIN; PHANTOM LIMB

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2007-07-01

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  • The Journal of EMDR Practice and Research is a quarterly, peer-reviewed publication devoted to integrative, state-of-the-art papers about Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. It is a broadly conceived interdisciplinary journal that stimulates and communicates research and theory about EMDR, and their application to clinical practice.
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