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Open Access Differential Effects of an Evolutionary-Based EMDR Therapy on Depression and Anxiety Symptoms: A Case Series Study

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A novel evolutionary-based therapy, treating depression downhill (TDD), was designed as a specific therapy for depression as a syndrome (Krupnik, 2014) and later integrated with eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy into a combined TDD-EMDR treatment. The combined therapy integrates modified EMDR procedures into the theoretical context of TDD. These procedures are applied during the second (acceptance) stage of TDD-EMDR's three-stage protocol with the focus on acceptance of defeat/failure/loss rather than on distressing memories. Here, we report a case series of 21 military personnel diagnosed with depressive disorders, who received a course of TDD-EMDR. Eighty percent of completers (n = 15) did not meet the criteria of depressive disorder by the treatment's end. After 12 sessions, they showed a significant reduction on the Beck's Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II) with a large effect size (d = 2.8) and an increase in accepting disposition (d = 1.8) on the Acceptance and Action Questionnaire. Noncompleters showed similar to completers decrease of BDI-II scores at mid-treatment. We observed no statistically significant decrease of the anxiety symptoms on the Beck's Anxiety Inventory. These results suggest that TDD-EMDR may be an effective treatment for depressive disorders. They also indicate that it may preferentially target depressive over anxiety symptoms, as was previously observed for TDD. Suggestions are made for future research.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2018

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