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Open Access EMDR and Olfactory Reference Syndrome

A Case Series

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Olfactory reference syndrome (ORS) is an illness currently considered a delusional disorder under the DSM–IV criteria. Patients believe that they emit a foul odor, causing them great emotional distress and negative social consequences. Its etiology is inadequately understood, and there is generally a poor response to pharmacological and psychotherapeutic interventions. This article describes the treatment of four consecutive cases of ORS whose pathological symptoms had endured for 8–48 years. The administration of EMDR consisted of processing the various life experiences that appeared to cause and/or trigger the pathology. The EMDR sessions resulted in a complete resolution of symptoms in all four cases, which was maintained at follow-up. Given the rapid and sustained results, we offer a hypothesis based on the Adaptive Information Processing (AIP) model to explain the etiopathology and remission.


Document Type: Conference Report


Publication date: 2008-03-01

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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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