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Open Access EMDR Within Crisis Resolution and Home Treatment Teams

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This article describes how eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) can be used in a National Health Service (NHS) mental health crisis team with individuals who are expressing strong desire and intent to die by suicide. It explores previous research in this area and examines how offering EMDR therapy may expedite recovery for clients and how offering immediate access to specialized treatment can result in NHS Trusts reducing costs associated with further psychological treatment in the community. Nine cases are presented of clients who were under the care of an NHS crisis resolution and home treatment team and who received brief EMDR therapy. Treatment directly addressed recent or historical traumatic experiences, without extensive preparation even though clients had suicidal intent and were in crisis. All clients showed marked improvement in their mental state and a reduction in their risk regarding harm to self and harm to others. An audit of the patient electronic database was used to examine contact with mental health services 12 months posttreatment. Three of the nine clients reaccessed crisis services at 6, 8, and 11 months, respectively, concerning new crises unrelated to the material initially processed with EMDR. EMDR therapy has the potential to significantly improve the outcomes of clients experiencing a mental health crisis but more research is needed in this area.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2016

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