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Open Access Desensitization of Triggers and Urge Reprocessing for an Adolescent With Internet Addiction Disorder

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This case study reports the successful treatment of Internet addiction in a 13- year-old male using four 45-minute sessions of the desensitization of triggers and urge reprocessing (DeTUR) protocol—an addiction protocol of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR; Popky, 2005). This protocol uses EMDR procedures to process current triggers and positive future templates, but it does not identify or directly address any past trauma. At baseline, the participant showed a moderate level of Internet addiction (scoring 75 on Young's Internet Addiction Test [IAT]) and moderate depression (26 on the Beck Depression Inventory [BDI]). During assessment, he identified 7 triggers for Internet gaming and rated the associated urge to engage in the activity with scores of 3–9 on the level of urge scale (0 = lowest, 10 = strongest). Using the DeTUR protocol, the level of urge for each trigger was reduced to 2, which the participants defined as “not being able to think about or crave for the game.” After treatment, his symptoms had declined to nonclinical levels (38 on IAT and 6 on BDI) and he was able to restrict his time on the Internet to an hour per day. These therapeutic gains were maintained at 6- and 12-month follow-up. The DeTUR may be a good treatment option for Internet addiction and further controlled studies are needed.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2012-05-01

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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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