Open Access The Integrative Use of EMDR and Clinical Hypnosis in the Treatment of Adults Abused as Children

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The potential benefits of the use of a permissive style of clinical hypnosis as a therapeutic medium to enhance eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) trauma treatment are explored. A comparative review of hypnosis and EMDR is provided, including putative psychophysiological mechanisms for both. A rationale for integrating clinical hypnosis with EMDR treatment is presented. It is suggested that hypnosis primarily enhances the accessibility of traumatic information while EMDR primarily enhances the reprocessing of traumatic information and that accessibility and reprocessing are reciprocal features. The relative and combined merits of hypnosis and EMDR for resource development are discussed. The author proposes that clinical hypnosis may be incorporated into EMDR without necessarily modifying the eight-stage EMDR protocol apart from modifications that are indicated for special conditions. Three case vignettes are used to illustrate the integrative use of clinical hypnosis and EMDR in the treatment of adults who experienced childhood abuse.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: May 1, 2010

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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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