Skip to main content

Open Access Single Case Study: Does EMDR Psychotherapy Work on Emotional Eating?

Download Article:
This article presents the methods and results of a single case study treating the effects of “emotional eating” (EE). It provides a comprehensive review of the literature related to obesity and emotional eating; explains childhood experiences, which may contribute to its development; and describes how emotional eating can become a default behavior for affect regulation. The background for the research is the worldwide epidemic of overeating and obesity. The study was designed to examine whether treating the symptoms of EE with selected protocols and methods within eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) psychotherapy would have a positive effect, and the participant, a 55-year-old woman, was treated with an adjusted version of the desensitization of triggers and urge reprocessing (DeTUR) protocol, including resource installation, affect management, ego state work, and the standard EMDR protocol. The treatment consisted of 6 weekly meetings, each lasting 1.5 hours, and 2 follow-up meetings after 3 and 6 months. The measures, which were self-reported on a qualitative scale (0–10), included the experienced feeling of control in general (affect regulation) in specific eating behavior before and after the treatment, reduction of urge in triggering situations, number of situations with emotional eating per week, and body image before and after the treatment. The participant experienced an overall positive change in eating behavior, and the treatment could be one of the ways to reduce weight over time and to ensure better results in stabilizing weight after weight loss.


Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2015

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of EMDR Practice and Research is no longer available to subscribers on Ingenta Connect. Please go to to access your online subscription to Journal of EMDR Practice and Research.
  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content