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Open Access Stepping Stones: EMDR Treatment of Individuals With Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and Challenging Behavior

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Trauma and its ensuing accommodations, including challenging behaviors, have been a growing consideration for practitioners working with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Recognizing the importance of one's client's trauma history, practitioners are seeking effective methods of providing therapy to IDD clients with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other trauma-related diagnoses. In this exploratory study, using a multiple single case study design, six individuals with IDD and known trauma histories were treated with eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR). The researchers employed the standard EMDR protocol, adapting it when necessary to accommodate the needs of each participant. Outcomes provide preliminary evidence that EMDR may be an effective method of trauma treatment for clients with intellectual abilities, pointing to EMDR as a treatment with potential for facilitating healing from trauma with IDD clients.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2010-11-01

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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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