Integration of Religion and Spirituality Into Trauma Psychotherapy: An Example in Sufism?
Bilateral stimulation (BLS) is of significant importance to eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy. Eye movements seem to be the most effective form of BLS in EMDR. A brief summary of the cultural applicability of EMDR is provided, and research which showed the value of incorporating religion and/or spirituality into psychotherapy is highlighted. Islamic Sufism, in common with other traditional religions, has long been known to have a psychotherapeutic perspective and has been used over time to help people to overcome trauma and stress. This article argues that the ritual movements associated with the Sufi Dhikr may involve a form of BLS and that this might underline some of the therapeutic effectiveness of Dhikr and Sufism. The authors recommend investigating if the Sufi Dhikr element could be incorporated into a modified EMDR protocol. We anticipate that this would give EMDR an even wider and more popular acceptance in the Middle East and the Muslim world.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 01 August 2015
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