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Open Access A Role for EMDR in the Treatment of Trauma in Patients Suffering From a Psychosis: Four Vignettes

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Abstract:

Many patients with a functional psychosis are likely to have a history of trauma and symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD); some may be traumatized by their psychotic symptoms. We present a series of vignettes to describe eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) treatment of 4 patients suffering from a functional psychotic illness who had a significant history of trauma. After receiving EMDR, each patient showed an improvement in their PTSD symptoms and reported an improvement in the quality of their lives. Follow-up at 3–6 years indicated that the treatment effects were maintained, with changes evident in elimination of trauma-related delusions, reduction in anxiety and depression, fewer hospital admissions, and overall improved quality of life. Because a history of trauma and PTSD symptoms are more frequent in patients with a psychosis, and trauma may be an etiological component of psychosis, EMDR treatment needs to be researched and explored as a treatment opportunity.

Keywords: EYE MOVEMENT DESENSITIZATION AND REPROCESSING (EMDR); PSYCHOSIS; PSYCHOTHERAPY; TRAUMA; TREATMENT OUTCOME

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1891/1933-3196.8.1.19

Publication date: 2014-02-01

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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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