EMDR Research News April 2022
With each reference below, you will find the citation, abstract and author contact information (when available). Previous posting to this blog can be viewed by year in the sidebar below right (visible on computer and tablet - landscape). Summary listings by topic are available at EMDR Research. A comprehensive listing of all EMDR-related research is available at the Francine Shapiro Library. EMDRIA members can access recent Journal of EMDR Practice and Research articles in the member’s area on the EMDRIA website. JEMDR issues older than 12 months are available open access on Connect - Springer Publishing Company.
Ateş-Barlas, A. (2022). EMDR Therapy for Bilinguals. Journal of EMDR Practice and Research, 16(1), 39-46. doi:10.1891/emdr-2021-0022
Alev Ateş-Barlas, Ithaca, NY. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
EMDR protocols, theories, and guides tend to presume or prescribe a monolinguistic approach However, there are many bilinguals whose knowledge of a second language (L2) is sufficiently advanced to allow them to interact with EMDR therapists, but who might also possess memories encoded in a first language (L1), which is strategically useful in EMDR. The objectives of this clinical practice study were to (a) describe the real-world use of EMDR therapy in which the L1 of an EMDR recipient is selectively integrated into processing by a therapist who need not know the recipient’s L1 and (b) demonstrate an adaptation of the standard EMDR therapy protocol to support full resolution of memory material among clients with exposure to more than one language.
Baas, M. A. M., van Pampus, M. G., Stramrood, C. A. I., Dijksman, L. M., Vanhommerig, J. W., & de Jongh, A. (2021). Treatment of Pregnant Women With Fear of Childbirth Using EMDR Therapy: Results of a Multi-Center Randomized Controlled Trial. Front Psychiatry, 12, 798249. doi:10.3389/fpsyt.2021.798249
Open Access: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35222106
M. G. van Pampus, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, OLVG, Amsterdam, Netherlands. E-mail: email@example.com
Fear of childbirth (FoC) occurs in 7. 5% of pregnant women and has been associated with adverse feto-maternal outcomes. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy has proven to be effective in the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and anxiety; however, its effectiveness regarding FoC has not yet been established. The aim was to determine the safety and effectiveness of EMDR therapy for pregnant women with FoC. This single-blind RCT (the OptiMUM-study, www.trialregister.nl, NTR5122) was conducted in the Netherlands. FoC was defined as a score ≥85 on the Wijma Delivery Expectations Questionnaire (WDEQ-A). Pregnant women with FoC and a gestational age between 8 and 20 weeks were randomly assigned to EMDR therapy or care-as-usual (CAU). The severity of FoC was assessed using the WDEQ-A. Safety was indexed as worsening of FoC symptoms, dropout, serious adverse events, or increased suicide risk. We used linear mixed model analyses to compare groups. A total of 141 women were randomized (EMDR n = 70; CAU n = 71). No differences between groups were found regarding safety. Both groups showed a very large (EMDR d = 1.36) or large (CAU d = 0.89) reduction of FoC symptoms with a mean decrease of 25.6 (EMDR) and 17.4 (CAU) points in WDEQ-A sum score. No significant difference between both groups was found (p = 0.83). At posttreatment, 72.4% (EMDR) vs. 59.6% (CAU) no longer met the criteria for FoC. In conclusion, the results are supportive of EMDR therapy as a safe and effective treatment of FoC during pregnancy, albeit without significant beneficial effects of EMDR therapy over and above those of CAU. Therefore, the current study results do not justify implementation of EMDR therapy as an additional treatment in this particular setting.
Bisson, J. I., & Olff, M. (2021). Prevention and treatment of PTSD: the current evidence base. Eur J Psychotraumatol, 12(1), 1824381. doi:10.1080/20008198.2020.1824381
Open Access: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34992739
Jonathan I. Bisson, National Centre for Mental Health (NCMH), Division of Psychological Medicine and Clinical Neurosciences, Cardiff University School of Medicine, Cardiff, UK. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Post-traumatic stress disorder is a common condition that affects millions of people across the world. Up to date recommendations based on the best available evidence are vital to prevent and treat this debilitating condition. In this issue, we are bringing together a series of systematic reviews and meta-analyses that underpinned the development of the 2018 International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies Guidelines. The strongest evidence was found for psychological treatments for PTSD, in particular for cognitive behavioural therapy with a trauma focus (CBT-TF) (generic), cognitive processing therapy (CPT), cognitive therapy (CT), eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR) and prolonged exposure (PE). For the subgroup of military personnel and veterans, results were less impressive. Dropout from trauma-focused psychological treatments was higher than for other forms of psychological treatment for PTSD in adults. For early interventions, CBT-TF, CT and EMDR were recommended. With regard to pharmacological approaches, a number of them were effective but with a low effect size. Of the pharmacologically assisted psychotherapies, MDMA-assisted psychotherapy was promising. Six complementary and alternative approaches showed emerging evidence. We now have an evidence base for a diverse range of pharmacological, psychological and other approaches that should facilitate their implementation and lead to the more effective management of people affected by traumatic events.
Brouwers, T. C., de Jongh, A., & Matthijssen, S. J. M. A. (2021). The Effects of the Flash Technique Compared to Those of an Abbreviated Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy Protocol on the Emotionality and Vividness of Aversive Memories. Front Psychol, 12, 741163. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2021.741163
Open Access: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35002841
Thomas C. Brouwers, Department of Clinical Psychology, Utrecht University, Utrecht, Netherlands. E-mail: email@example.com
Introduction: The Flash technique is a novel intervention aimed at rapidly decreasing the subjective disturbance of an aversive memory, thereby serving as a potential way of treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The protocol is used to stimulate clients to engage in positive imagery while being discouraged to actively recollect the targeted disturbing memory. Previous research into the Flash technique's efficacy shows promising results, yet controlled studies are lacking.
Objectives: To test the efficacy of the Flash technique, it was compared to an abbreviated eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy protocol in a controlled experimental setting. We hypothesized that the Flash technique would lead to a larger decrease in the emotionality and vividness of an aversive autobiographical memory when compared to EMDR therapy. Our second hypothesis was that the procedure of the Flash technique would be evaluated more pleasant by its receiver.
Method: The sample consisted of 60 non-clinical participants (mean age = 25.28 years; 73.33% female) who were able to recall an aversive autobiographical memory. They were randomized to either the Flash technique or the EMDR therapy condition. Measurements consisted of emotionality and vividness-ratings pre and post intervention, and at 1-week follow-up.
Results: Bayesian analyses showed no differences between Flash and EMDR to the extent to which the emotionality and vividness of their memory was reduced. Afterward, the Flash technique was rated more pleasant than EMDR.
Conclusion: The results support the claim that the Flash technique might be used as a brief and efficacious intervention for individuals suffering from disturbing memories. Although the results suggest that its efficacy does not differ from EMDR, the Flash technique seems to yield similar outcomes in a more pleasant way. Further research into its working mechanisms and in a clinical sample is required.
Chadwick, E., & Billings, J. (2022). Barriers to delivering trauma-focused interventions for people with psychosis and post-traumatic stress disorder: A qualitative study of health care professionals’ views. Psychol Psychother. doi:10.1111/papt.12387
Open Access: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35124894
Jo Billings, Division of Psychiatry, 6th Floor, Maple House, 149 Tottenham Court Road, London W1T 7NF, UK. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Objectives: Trauma-focused interventions have been shown to be effective treatments for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and clinical guidelines support their use with people with psychosis. Despite this, they are used relatively infrequently in this population. We sought to explore UK health care professionals' perceptions of what impedes or facilitates the use of trauma-focused interventions among people with psychosis and PTSD.
Design: A qualitative study using constructivist grounded theory methodology.
Methods: We conducted semi-structured interviews with 18 health care professionals working within the commissioning and delivery of clinical services for people with psychosis.
Results: Three inter-related barriers to the use of trauma-focused interventions were conceptualized: coherent understanding; structural support; and safe space.
Conclusions: Delivery of trauma-focused interventions within routine clinical practice may be supported by attention to the coherent integration of discussion of trauma into the clinical discourse of services; the processes, pathways, and organizational culture that facilitate access to treatment; and training that targets clinician confidence and skills.
D’Andréa, G., Giacchero, R., Roger, C., Vandersteen, C., & Guevara, N. (2022). Evaluation of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing in the management of tinnitus. An observational study. Eur Ann Otorhinolaryngol Head Neck Dis, 139(2), 65-71. doi:10.1016/j.anorl.2021.06.002
G. D’Andréa, Institut Universitaire de la Face et du Cou–Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Nice, Avenue de Valombrose, 06100 Nice, France. E-mail: email@example.com.
OBJECTIVES: Tinnitus can induce disabling psychological suffering, requiring an integrative multimodal approach, combining neuromodulation and psychotherapeutic methods. We sought to evaluate the therapeutic efficacy and acceptability of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) in tinnitus.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: This was a single-center prospective non-comparative study. Inclusion criteria comprised: adult patient, with chronic tinnitus, Tinnitus Handicap Inventory (THI) score>17, causing psychological distress motivating active treatment after ineffective "classic" treatment (combining advice, sound therapy and first-line drug treatment), and agreement to EMDR therapy. Therapeutic efficacy was defined by a decrease in THI or Visual Analog Scale (VAS) scores. Treatment acceptability was defined by the rate of included patients who completed therapy.
RESULTS: Thirty-eight patients were included. There was a significant reduction of 53.5% in THI score in 78.9% of patients (P<0.0001; 64.8±20.8 before versus 31.8±24.7 after treatment), and of 51% in VAS score in 76.3% of patients (P<0.0001; 7.24±2.12 before versus 3.58±2.03 after treatment). The treatment acceptability was 86.8%.
CONCLUSION: EMDR appeared to be an effective alternative that was acceptable to the majority of patients, after failure of "classic" first-line treatment, improving quality of life in tinnitus patients and thus relieving disability.
D’Antoni, F., Matiz, A., Fabbro, F., & Crescentini, C. (2022). Psychotherapeutic Techniques for Distressing Memories: A Comparative Study between EMDR, Brainspotting, and Body Scan Meditation. Int J Environ Res Public Health, 19(3), 1142. doi:10.3390/ijerph19031142
Open Access: https://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/19/3/1142
Fabio D’Antoni, Maternal Infant Services Unit of Udine, Azienda Sanitaria Universitaria Integrata Friuli Centrale (ASUFC), 33100 Udine, Italy.
OBJECTIVES: We explored the effects of a single 40-min session of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Brainspotting (BSP), and Body Scan Meditation (BSM) in the processing of distressing memories reported by a non-clinical sample of adult participants.
DESIGN: A within-subject design was used.
METHODS: Participants (n = 40 Psychologists/MDs) reported four distressing memories, each of which treated with a single intervention. EMDR, BSP, and BSM were compared with each other, and with a Book Reading (BR) active control condition, using as dependent measures, SUD (Subjective Units of Disturbance) and Memory Telling Duration (MTD) on a 4-point timeline: Baseline, Pre-Intervention, Post-Intervention, Follow-up.
RESULTS: SUD scores associated with EMDR, BSP, and BSM significantly decreased from Pre- to Post-Intervention (p < 0.001). At Post-Intervention and Follow-up, EMDR and BSP SUD scores were significantly lower than BSM and BR scores (p < 0.02). At both Post-Intervention and Follow-up, BSM SUD scores were lower than BR scores (p < 0.01). A reduction in MTD was observed from Pre- to Post-Intervention for EMDR and BSP conditions (p < 0.001).
CONCLUSIONS: Overall, results showed beneficial effects of single sessions of EMDR, BSP, or BSM in the processing of healthy adults' distressing memories. Study limitations and suggestions for future research are discussed.
Fogliato, E., Invernizzi, R., Maslovaric, G., Fernandez, I., Rigamonti, V., Lora, A., . . . Pagani, M. (2022). Promoting Mental Health in Healthcare Workers in Hospitals Through Psychological Group Support With Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing During COVID-19 Pandemic: An Observational Study. Frontiers in Psychology, 12. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2021.794178
Open Access: http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.794178
Elisa Fogliato E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Roberta Invernizzi E-mail: email@example.com
Background: Psychological support was provided by the Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Integrative Group Treatment Protocol (EMDR-IGTP) within the hospitals in the Northern Italy in favor of healthcare workers during the COVID- 19 pandemic. This study aimed at evaluating the effectiveness of treatment in terms of (a) symptomatology reduction related to peri- and post-traumatic stress; (b) clinical improvement over time; and (c) the maintenance of the achieved outcome over time.
Methods: The population was composed of healthcare workers who spontaneously requested psychological intervention in both the first and the second emergency waves. Statistical analyses were carried out to highlight the differences in Impact of Event- Revised (IES-R) and Post-Traumatic Growth Inventory (PTGI) before and after the group intervention.
Results: In both the first and the second waves, pre-treatment values are higher than post-treatment values for all dimensions of the IES-R. The results show that there are no significant differences between the first and the second wave with regard to the treatment effect. Healthcare workers maintained positive changes over time despite their prolonged exposure to an emergency and the possibility of retraumatization at the onset of a new emergency phase, irrespective of their working place. Healthcare workers who were treated in the first wave showed at the beginning of the second emergency wave less vulnerability and more resilience than those who were treated only in the second wave.
Pre-treatment scores of healthcare workers affected by COVID-19 are discussed.
Conclusion: COVID-19 had a significant impact on the well-being of healthcare workers who were working in hospitals. Psychological support in case of emergency is needed.
Goga, N., Boiangiu, C. A., Vasilateanu, A., Popovici, A. F., Drăgoi, M. V., Popovici, R., . . . Hadăr, A. (2022). An Efficient System for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy: A Pilot Study. Healthcare (Basel), 10(1), 133. doi:10.3390/healthcare10010133
Open Access: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35052299
Alexandru-Filip Popovici, Faculty of Engineering in Foreign Languages, University Politehnica of Bucharest, Splaiul Independentei 313, 060032 Bucharest, Romania. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
In this paper, we describe an actuator-based EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) virtual assistant system that can be used for the treatment of participants with traumatic memories. EMDR is a psychological therapy designed to treat emotional distress caused by a traumatic event from the past, most frequently in post-traumatic stress disorder treatment. We implemented a system based on video, tactile, and audio actuators which includes an artificial intelligence chatbot, making the system capable of acting autonomously. We tested the system on a sample of 31 participants. Our results showed the efficiency of the EMDR virtual assistant system in reducing anxiety, distress, and negative cognitions and emotions associated with the traumatic memory. There are no such systems reported in the existing literature. Through the present research, we fill this gap by describing a system that can be used by patients with traumatic memories.
Granier, C., & Brunel, L. (2022). Remission of schizophrenia after an EMDR session. Eur J Psychotraumatol, 13(1), 2014660. doi:10.1080/20008198.2021.2014660
Open Access: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35140878
Claire Granier, GH Paul Guiraud, 54 av de la République, 94800 Villejuif, France. E-mail: email@example.com
We present a case study of the remission of a chemically resistant schizophrenia disorder after a single session of EMDR. Our patient had been followed-up for schizophrenia according to DSM5 criteria, since 4 years. During our subject's fourth hospitalization for major delirious decompensation, a single EMDR session, according to the standard protocol, resulted in a complete and total remission of the delirious disorder and the disorganization/dissociative syndrome in 8 weeks. This allowed us to interrupt the patient's antipsychotic treatment without relapse at 18 months. This case study allows us to highlight, as many authors have previously done, the necessity of researching the traumatic history of patients diagnosed with schizophrenia in order to provide therapies focused on traumatic dissociation. It also questions the relevance of our diagnostic criteria for schizophrenia and other dissociative disorders.
Greenwald, R., & Camden, A. A. (2022). A pragmatic randomized comparison of intensive EMDR and intensive PC for victims of crime. Psychol Trauma. doi:10.1037/tra0001176
Ricky Greenwald, Trauma Institute & Child Trauma Institute, 285 Prospect Street, Northampton, MA 01060, United States. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
OBJECTIVE: The intensive therapy format offers clients the opportunity to reduce time to treatment benefit, compared with conventional weekly therapy. Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) has been identified as the most efficient of the leading trauma therapies. Progressive counting (PC) is less resource-intensive for therapists to master and may be at least as efficient as EMDR. Our objective was to evaluate and compare intensive EMDR and intensive PC.
METHOD: We randomized 96 treatment-seeking victims of crime to intensive EMDR or intensive PC.
RESULTS: Participants experienced statistically and clinically significant improvements on measures of posttraumatic stress, presenting problems, level of functioning, and quality of life from pretreatment to posttreatment and follow-up, with large to very large effect sizes on all measures. There were no significant differences between EMDR on PC any outcome, including treatment efficiency, and dropout was minimal.
CONCLUSIONS: These results support previous findings regarding the value of intensive trauma-focused therapy and indicate that PC may be comparable to EMDR in the intensive therapy format.
Hien, D. A., Fitzpatrick, S., Saavedra, L. M., Ebrahimi, C. T., Norman, S. B., Tripp, J., . . . Morgan-López, A. A. (2022). What’s in a name? A data-driven method to identify optimal psychotherapy classifications to advance treatment research on co-occurring PTSD and substance use disorders. Eur J Psychotraumatol, 13(1), 2001191. doi:10.1080/20008198.2021.2001191
Open Access: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34992759
Denise A. Hien, ABPP Center of Alcohol & Substance Use Studies, Rutgers University, 607 Allison Road, Piscataway, NJ 08854, USA. E-mail: email@example.com
Background/Objective: The present study leveraged the expertise of an international group of posttraumatic stress and substance use disorder (PTSD+SUD) intervention researchers to identify which methods of categorizing interventions which target SUD, PTSD, or PTSD+SUD for populations with both PTSD+SUD may be optimal for advancing future systematic reviews, meta-analyses, and comparative effectiveness studies which strive to compare effects across a broad variety of psychotherapy types.
Method: A two-step process was used to evaluate the categorization terminology. First, we searched the literature for pre-existing categories of PTSD+SUD interventions from PTSD+SUD clinical trials, systematic and literature reviews. Then, we surveyed international trauma and substance use subject matter experts about their opinions on pre-existing intervention categorization and ideal categorization nomenclature.
Results: Mixed method analyses revealed that a proliferation of PTSD+SUD treatment research over the last twenty years brought with it an abundance of ways to characterize the treatments that have been evaluated. Results from our survey of experts (N = 27) revealed that interventions for PTSD+SUD can be classified in many ways that appear to overlap highly with one another. Many experts (11/27; 41%) selected the categories of 'trauma-focused and non-trauma focused' as an optimal way to distinguish treatment types. Although several experts reinforced this point during the subsequent meeting, it became clear that no method of categorizing treatments is without flaws.
Conclusion: One possible categorization (trauma-focused/non-trauma focused) was identified. Revised language and nomenclature for classification of PTSD+SUD treatments are needed in order to accommodate the needs of this advancing field.
Hofman, S., Hafkemeijer, L., de Jongh, A., Starrenburg, A., & Slotema, K. (2022). Trauma-focused EMDR for Personality disorders among Outpatients (TEMPO): study protocol for a multi-centre, single-blind, randomized controlled trial. Trials, 23(1), 196. doi:10.1186/s13063-022-06082-6
Open Access: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35246228
Karin Slotema, Department of Personality Disorders, Parnassia Psychiatric Institute, Lijnbaan 4, 2512VA, The Hague, The Netherlands. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
BACKGROUND: Existing recommended treatment options for personality disorders (PDs) are extensive and costly. There is emerging evidence indicating that trauma-focused treatment using eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy aimed at resolving memories of individuals' adverse events can be beneficial for this target group within a relatively short time frame. The primary purpose of the present study is to determine the effectiveness of EMDR therapy versus waiting list in reducing PD symptom severity. Furthermore, the effects of EMDR therapy on trauma symptom severity, loss of diagnosis, personal functioning, quality of life, and mental health outcomes will be determined. In addition, the cost-effectiveness of EMDR therapy in the treatment of PDs is investigated. Moreover, predictors of treatment success, symptom deterioration and treatment discontinuation will be assessed. Lastly, experiences with EMDR therapy will be explored.
METHOD: In total, 159 patients with a PD will be included in a large multicentre single-blind randomized controlled trial. The Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-5 Personality Disorders will be used to determine the presence of a PD. Participants will be allocated to either a treatment condition with EMDR therapy (ten biweekly 90-min sessions) or a waiting list. Three months after potential treatment with EMDR therapy, patients can receive treatment as usual for their PD. All participants are subject to single-blinded baseline, post-intervention and 3-, 6- and 12-month follow-up assessments. The primary outcome measures are the Assessment of DSM-IV Personality Disorders and the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale for DSM-5. For cost-effectiveness, the Treatment Inventory of Costs in Patients with psychiatric disorders, EuroQol-5D-3L, and the Mental Health Quality of Life Questionnaire will be administered. The PTSD Checklist for DSM-5, Brief State Paranoia Checklist and Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale will be used to further index trauma symptom severity. Type of trauma is identified at baseline with the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire-SF and Life Events Checklist for the DSM-5. Personal functioning and health outcome are assessed with the Level of Personality Functioning Scale-BF 2.0, Outcome Questionnaire-45 and Mental Health Quality of Life Questionnaire. Experiences with EMDR therapy of patients in the EMDR therapy condition are explored with a semi-structured interview at post-intervention.
DISCUSSION: It is expected that the results of this study will contribute to knowledge about the effectiveness, and cost-effectiveness of trauma-focused treatment using EMDR therapy in individuals diagnosed with a PD. Follow-up data provide documentation of long-term effects of EMDR therapy on various outcome variables, most importantly the reduction of PD symptom severity and loss of diagnoses.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: Netherlands Trial Register NL9078. Registered on 31 November 2020.
Hollins Martin, C. J., & Reid, K. (2022). A scoping review of therapies used to treat psychological trauma post perinatal bereavement. J Reprod Infant Psychol, 1-17. doi:10.1080/02646838.2021.2021477
Open Access: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34989287
Caroline J. Hollins Martin E-mail: email@example.com
Background: Up to 39% of women who experience perinatal bereavement proceed to develop Post-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder (PTSD), with this large proportion meriting treatment. Before setting-up a treatment service for postnatal women who are experiencing psychological trauma, it is important to identify what therapies have been used in-the-past to address this problem.
Aim: To scope for research that has implemented therapies to treat psychological trauma post perinatal bereavement, for potential inclusion in a flexible treatment package.
Method: A scoping review mapped coverage, range, and type of research that has reported on prior therapies used to treat psychological trauma post perinatal bereavement.
findings: Due to the dearth of papers that directly addressed perinatal bereavement, we widened the scope of the review to view what treatments had been used to treat psychological trauma post-childbirth. Out of 23 studies that report on effectiveness of therapies used to treat psychological trauma post-childbirth, only 4-focused upon treating PTSD post perinatal bereavement (3 effective/1 ineffective). Successful treatments were reported by Kersting et al. (2013), who found CBT effective at reducing PTSD symptoms post-miscarriage, termination for medical reasons, and stillbirth (n = 33 & n = 115), and Navidian et al. (2s017)) found that 4-sessions of grief-counselling reduced trauma symptoms post-stillbirth in (n = 50) women. One study by Huberty et al. (2020found on-line yoga to be ineffective at reducing PTSD symptoms post-stillbirth.
Conclusions: A dearth of research has explored effectiveness of therapies for treating psychological trauma post perinatal bereavement and post-childbirth, with need to develop and test a research informed flexible counselling package.
Hoskins, M. D., Bridges, J., Sinnerton, R., Nakamura, A., Underwood, J. F. G., Slater, A., . . . Bisson, J. I. (2021). Pharmacological therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder: a systematic review and meta-analysis of monotherapy, augmentation and head-to-head approaches. Eur J Psychotraumatol, 12(1), 1802920. doi:10.1080/20008198.2020.1802920
Open Access: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34992738
Mathew D. Hoskins, Division of Psychological Medicine and Clinical Neuroscience, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Background: Pharmacological approaches are widely used for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) despite uncertainty over efficacy.
Objectives: To determine the efficacy of all pharmacological approaches, including monotherapy, augmentation and head-to-head approaches (drug versus drug, drug versus psychotherapy), in reducing PTSD symptom severity. Method: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials were undertaken; 115 studies were included.
Results: Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) were found to be statistically superior to placebo in reduction of PTSD symptoms but the effect size was small (standardised mean difference -0.28, 95% CI -0.39 to -0.17). For individual monotherapy agents compared to placebo in two or more studies, we found small statistically significant evidence for the antidepressants fluoxetine, paroxetine, sertraline, venlafaxine and the antipsychotic quetiapine. For pharmacological augmentation, we found small statistically significant evidence for prazosin and risperidone.
Conclusions: Some medications have a small positive effect on reducing PTSD symptom severity and can be considered as potential monotherapy treatments; these include fluoxetine, paroxetine, sertraline, venlafaxine and quetiapine. Two medications, prazosin and risperidone, also have a small positive effect when used to augment pharmacological monotherapy. There was no evidence of superiority for one intervention over another in the small number of head-to-head comparison studies.
Husain, B. (2022). EMDR with First-Generation College Students At-Risk of Facing a Forced Marriage. Clinical Social Work Journal. doi:10.1007/s10615-021-00828-6
Bushra Husain, Rutgers University School of Social Work, New Brunswick, NJ, USA. E-mail: email@example.com
In forced marriage cases, individuals and couples are coerced by emotional and physical violence into marriage and risk ostracization from their community. Often compounding these complexities are the challenges many forced marriage survivors additionally have as first-generation college students (FGCS), specifically when wanting to pursue an education that conflict with the marriage chosen for them by their families. However, there are limited studies and clinical interventions addressing the nature of forced marriage and its emotional and psychological impact on at-risk adult survivors and FGCS in the United States. Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy (EMDR), a trauma intervention targeting post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and anxiety symptoms including guilt and shame, may help at-risk forced marriage survivors and FGCS address these symptoms. I hypothesize that using EMDR as a clinical intervention may empower at-risk adult forced marriage survivors, including those who also identify as FGCS, to free themselves from taking responsibility for their families, prioritize their emotional needs, and work towards independence.
Jarero, I., & Artigas, L. (2021). AIP model-based Acute Trauma and Ongoing Traumatic Stress Theoretical Conceptualization. Iberoamerican Journal of Psychotraumatology and Dissociation., 10(1). doi:10.1037/a0032484
Open Access: https://tinyurl.com/ydtwn7jy
The aim of this article is to give a clinical case conceptualization of acute trauma and ongoing traumatic stress based on Dr. Francine Shapiro Adaptive Information Processing (AIP) theoretical model that could serve as a framework for a working hypothesis to expand the clinical and research horizons of the EMDR interventions for individuals and groups.
Jarero, I., & Artigas, L. (2021). The EMDR Therapy Butterfly Hug Method for Self-Administered Bilateral Stimulation. Iberoamerican Journal of Psychotraumatology and Dissociation, 11(1), 1-7. Retrieved from https://tinyurl.com/yjzq2wbg
Open Access: https://tinyurl.com/yjzq2wbg
The EMDR Therapy Butterfly Hug (BH) method for self-administered bilateral stimulation (BLS) was originated by Lucina (Lucy) Artigas during her work with the survivors of Hurricane Pauline in Acapulco, Mexico, 1998 [1-3]. In the year 2000, Lucy received the EMDR International Association (EMDRIA) Creative Innovation Award for the BH.
The Butterfly Hug method is used in the in-person and online versions of the EMDR Integrative Group Treatment Protocol (EMDR-IGTP), the EMDR-Integrative Group Treatment Protocol for Ongoing Traumatic Stress (EMDR-IGTP-OTS), the EMDR Therapy Protocol for Recent Critical Incidents and Ongoing Traumatic Stress (EMDR-PRECI), and the ASSYST Procedures, in order to reprocess the disturbing / traumatic material [4-10].
The EMDR-IGTP, the EMDR-IGTP-OTS, and the EMDR-PRECI with the BH as BLS method has become standard practice for EMDR clinicians in the field while working with survivors of man- made and natural disasters or with populations living recent, present, or past prolonged adverse experiences (e.g., ongoing or prolonged traumatic stress).
Jonkman, C., Visser, M., Vandenbosch, M., Steketee, M., Schuengel, C., & Fictorie, V. (2022). Effectiveness of a high-intensive trauma-focused, family-based therapy for youth exposed to family violence: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial. Trials, 23(1), 46. doi:10.1186/s13063-021-05981-4
Open Access: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35039059
Valerie Fictorie, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Background: Family violence is a common problem with direct adverse effects on children as well as indirect effects through disruption of parenting and parent-child relationships. The complex interrelationships between family violence, parenting, and relationships make recovery from psychological responses difficult. In more than half of the families referred to mental health care after family violence, the violence continues. Also, the effect sizes of "golden standard" treatments are generally lower for complex trauma compared to other forms of trauma. In the treatment of complex trauma, trauma-focused therapies including cognitive restructuring and imaginal exposure are most effective, and intensifying therapy results in faster symptom reduction. Furthermore, there is promising evidence that adding a parental component to individual trauma treatment increases treatment success. In family-based intensive trauma treatment (FITT), these factors are addressed on an individual and family level in a short period of time to establish long-term effects on the reduction of trauma symptoms and recovery of security in the family. This randomized controlled multicentre study tests if FITT is an effective treatment for concurrent reduction of trauma symptoms of children, improvement of parenting functioning, and increasing emotional and physical security in children, through the improvement of parent-child relationships.
Methods: The effectiveness of FITT will be tested by a RCT design. A total of 120 adolescents with a history of family violence and PTS symptoms will be randomized to (a) an intensive trauma treatment with a parent and systemic component (FITT), (b) an intensive trauma treatment without these components (ITT), and (c) treatment as usual (TAU, low-frequency trauma treatment with parent therapy and family sessions). Changes in children's trauma symptoms, child and parent functioning, and emotional and physical security in the family will be monitored before, during, after, and at 3 months follow-up.
Discussion: Comparing these interventions with and without a high intensive frequency and parenting and family components can help to understand if and how these interventions work and can contribute to the ambition to recover from the impact of family violence and restore emotional and physical security for children and young people.
Trial Registration: Netherlands Trial Register Trial NL8592 . Registered on 4 May 2020.
Kaptan, S. K., Varese, F., Yilmaz, B., Andriopoulou, P., & Husain, N. (2021). Protocol of a feasibility trial for an online group parenting intervention with an integrated mental health component for parent refugees and asylum-seekers in the United Kingdom: (LTP + EMDR G-TEP). SAGE Open Med, 9, 20503121211067861. doi:10.1177/20503121211067861
Open Access: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34992783
Safa Kemal Kaptan, School of Health Sciences, Division of Psychology and Mental Health, Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health, Manchester Academic Health Science Centre, The University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL, UK.
Objectives: Conflicts expose families to a range of factors that could have a negative impact upon parental mental health which in turn leads to poor growth and development of children. Early support can improve parental mental health and parenting behaviours but currently, there is a lack of evidence on parenting interventions for forcibly displaced populations. This study aims to deliver an online parenting intervention with a mental health component for refugee and asylum-seeker parents to evaluate its feasibility and acceptability. Methods: This is a single-arm trial without a control group. The trial aims to recruit 14 refugee and asylum-seeker parents into an Online Learning Through Play and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Group Traumatic Episode Protocol (LTP + EMDR G-TEP). The intervention will be delivered by trained research team members using online platforms. Results: The participants' sense of parenting competence, symptoms of traumatic stress, anxiety and depression will be measured at baseline and post-intervention. Semi-structured interviews at post-intervention will also be conducted. Discussion: This study will assess the feasibility and inform the design of a future randomized controlled trial which aims to evaluate the effectiveness of LTP + EMDR G-TEP intervention for parent refugees and asylum-seekers with young children.
Kranenburg, L. W., Bijma, H. H., Eggink, A. J., Knijff, E. M., & Lambregtse-van den Berg, M. P. (2021). Implementing an Eye Movement and Desensitization Reprocessing Treatment-Program for Women with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder After Childbirth. Front Psychol, 12, 797901. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2021.797901
Open Access: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35126248
Leonieke W. Kranenburg, Department of Psychiatry, Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam, Netherlands. E-mail: email@example.com
Purpose: The purpose of this study is to describe the implementation and outcomes of an Eye Movement and Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) treatment-program for women with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after childbirth.
Methods: A prospective cohort-study with pre- and post-measurements was carried out in the setting of an academic hospital in the Netherland. Included were women who gave birth to a living child at least 4 weeks ago, with a diagnosis of PTSD, or severe symptoms of PTSD combined with another psychiatric diagnosis. All received up to 8 sessions of EMDR-therapy. The posttraumatic stress disorder Checklist for DSM-5 was administered before and after treatment. Trauma history was assessed before treatment with the Life Events Checklist for the DSM-5, the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire and the Childbirth Perception Scale. Descriptive statistics were used.
Results: Forty-four women were referred, 26 met the inclusion criteria. After treatment, none of the women met the criteria for diagnosis of PTSD after on average 5 weekly sessions of EMDR- therapy. These outcomes are promising, as they were achieved in women with relatively high levels of psychiatric comorbidity (64%) and high rates of previous mental health treatment (80%).
Conclusion: Implementing an EMDR-treatment program for women with PTSD after childbirth in the setting of an academic hospital is feasible and effective. Key factors for success include a close collaboration between the relevant hospital departments and a thorough case conceptualization addressing the etiology of the PTSD.
Leeds, A. M., Madere, J. A., & Coy, D. M. (2022). Beyond the DES-II: Screening for Dissociative Disorders in EMDR Therapy. Journal of EMDR Practice and Research, 16(1), 25-38. doi:10.1891/EMDR-D-21-00019
Andrew M. Leeds, Sonoma Psychotherapy Training Institute, 1049 Fourth St., Suite G, Santa Rosa, CA 95404. E-mail: andrewmleeds at gmail.com
The Dissociative Experiences Scale (DES-II) remains the most widely used brief screening tool for identifying dissociative symptoms despite limitations of the instrument and the training of those who use it. Standard eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy procedures require a thorough clinical assessment and formally screening for the presence of a dissociative disorder. This aids development of an accurate case conceptualization prior to the preparation and trauma reprocessing phases of EMDR therapy. Reliance on DES-II mean scores as the sole measure of dissociative features—particularly with persons reporting a history of early childhood neglect or abuse—is insufficient to determine readiness for safely reprocessing traumatic memories. The International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation (ISSTD) Guidelines for Treating Dissociative Identity Disorder in Adults, Third Revision, noted that employing standard EMDR therapy with individuals suffering from an unrecognized dissociative disorder was reported as a risk for significant harm. EMDR-trained clinicians’ standard practice of screening for dissociative disorders must evolve beyond a casual reliance upon the DES-II. Consistent use of a mental status examination and reliable diagnostic tools is needed. Several relevant assessment tools are reviewed with their strengths and limitations. The authors recommend that clinicians apply these approaches even when their intent is to screen out persons whose presenting difficulties lie outside their scope of practice or research design.
Lewis, C., & Bisson, J. I. (2022). Managing the risk of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): Best practice for prevention, detection and treatment. Acta Psychiatr Scand, 145(2), 113-115. doi:10.1111/acps.13392
Open Access: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35014031
Catrin Lewis, Hadyn Ellis Building, Maindy Road, Cardiff, CF24 4HQ, UK. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Editorial. No abstract.
Linder, J. N., Niño, A., Negash, S., & Espinoza, S. (2021). Integrating EMDR and EFT To Treat Trauma In Couple Therapy: A Literature Review. International Journal of Systemic Therapy, 32(4), 251-272. doi:10.1080/2692398x.2021.1954862
Jason N. Linder, Alliant International University, San Diego Campus. E-mail: email@example.com
In this paper, we present a literature review on integrating Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) to treat trauma in couple therapy. Both are highly effective therapeutic models (one mainly used for individual trauma treatment and the other for strengthening attachment bonds in couples) that have gained significant traction and ample empirical support in the last three decades. Mental health therapists are increasingly experimenting with integrating these two models and have found that they can complement each other well; however, their integration is not well understood due to scant literature. Thus, we include research findings, clinical case examples, and theoretical discussions to provide readers with a comprehensive overview of the state of affairs on integrating these two models. We hope that this paper will highlight prior and existing practices and inspire clinicians to consider the clinical potential of integrating EFT and EMDR to increase effective therapy for couples affected by trauma.
Loewenthal, K. M. (2022). Religious change and post-traumatic growth following EMDR trauma therapy. Mental Health, Religion & Culture, 1-8. doi:10.1080/13674676.2021.2016668
Kate Miriam Loewenthal. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
This systematic review examined the question whether positive religious/spiritual (R/S) change is facilitated by EMDR trauma therapy. The question is asked whether any such R/S change is simply a feature of overall post-traumatic growth (PTG), or is it a form of change specific to EMDR? This systematic review found a number of articles showing that R/S change could follow EMDR, and also could be a feature of overall PTG. Further quantitative studies are needed to discover whether and how R/S change following EMDR is independent of PTG, or related to other aspects of PTG.
McLean, C. P., Levy, H. C., Miller, M. L., & Tolin, D. F. (2022). Exposure therapy for PTSD: A meta-analysis. Clin Psychol Rev, 91, 102115. doi:10.1016/j.cpr.2021.102115
Carmen P. McLean, National Center for PTSD, Dissemination and Training Division, VA Palo Alto Health Care System, 795 Willow Road, Menlo Park, CA 94025, USA. E-mail address: email@example.com
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is associated with high morbidity and functional impairment in the absence of effective treatment. Exposure therapy for PTSD is a trauma-focused treatment that typically includes in vivo and/or imaginal exposure. The goal of this meta-analysis was to examine the overall efficacy of exposure therapy for PTSD compared to various control conditions. We also assessed the efficacy of individual exposure-based treatments and the potentially moderating impact of various demographic, clinical, and treatment-related factors. PsycINFO and Medline were searched for randomized controlled trials of exposure-based therapies for adult PTSD. A total of 934 abstracts were screened for initial eligibility; of these, 65 articles met inclusion criteria and were included in the meta-analysis (total N = 4929 patients). Exposure therapy showed large effects relative to waitlist and treatment-as-usual, a small effect relative to non-trauma-focused comparators and a negligible effect relative to other trauma-focused treatments or medication. At follow-up most effects sizes were stable, except for a medium effect favoring exposure over medication. The individual exposure-based therapies examined were similarly effective. Moderator analyses revealed larger effect sizes in studies with fewer sessions, younger samples, fewer participants diagnosed with substance use disorder, and fewer participants on psychiatric medication. Effect sizes were also larger in studies of refugees and civilians compared to military samples, studies of PTSD related to natural disasters and transportation accidents vs. other traumatic events, and studies of individual vs. group therapy. Findings support the overall efficacy of exposure therapy and highlight that there are a number of efficacious exposure-based therapies available.
Morris, H., Hatzikiriakidis, K., Savaglio, M., Dwyer, J., Lewis, C., Miller, R., & Skouteris, H. (2022). Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing for the treatment and early intervention of trauma among first responders: A systematic review. J Trauma Stress. doi:10.1002/jts.22792
Heather Morris, Health and Social Care Unit, School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, 553 St Kilda Road, Melbourne, VIC, 3004, Australia. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
First responders are exposed to repetitive work-related trauma and, thus, are at risk of developing posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Eye-movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is a psychotherapy intervention designed to treat symptoms of posttraumatic stress. We conducted a systematic review to examine the viability of EMDR among first responders. The primary aim of this review was to identify studies that have trialed EMDR among first responders and evaluate its effectiveness in reducing trauma-related symptoms; a secondary aim was to identify whether EMDR has been used as an early intervention for this cohort and determine its effectiveness as such. Four databases were searched. Studies were included if they evaluated the extent to which EMDR was effective in alleviating symptoms stemming from work-related trauma exposure among first responders. The findings from each study were reported descriptively, and eight studies that evaluated the efficacy of EMDR in this population were included. There was substantial variation in how EMDR was implemented, particularly in the type, duration, frequency, and timing. The findings suggest that EMDR can alleviate symptoms of work-related trauma exposure among first responders; however, findings regarding early intervention were inconclusive, and a methodological quality assessment revealed that all studies were classified as being of either weak or medium quality. Although this review provides preliminary insights into the effectiveness of EMDR for first responders, the conclusions that can be drawn from the literature are limited, and the findings highlight several gaps in the literature.
Piedfort-Marin, O. (2022). Treatment of traumatic memories: Accessing the moment of dissociation and promoting integration [Traitement des souvenirs traumatiques: Accéder à l’instant de dissociation et promouvoir l’intégration.] European Journal of Trauma & Dissociation, 6(1), 100252. doi:10.1016/j.ejtd.2021.100252
Olivier Piedfort-Marin, Avenue de Montchoisi 21, 1006 Lausanne, Switzerland.
Institut Romand de Psychotraumatologie, Lausanne, Switzerland. E-mail: email@example.com
Through a case study, this article presents the clinical interest of the concept of integration of traumatic memories according to the theory of the structural dissociation of the personality. According to this theory, integration includes two mental actions: synthesis, achieved when the individual can link and differentiate the different elements (emotions, thoughts, images, sensorimotor reactions, behaviors) of an experience in a chronology; then realization, which involves personification and presentification. Personification refers to the subject's ability to take possession of an experience as his own. Presentification is achieved when the subject feels that the event belongs to the past, that he or she can now live fully in the present and move with confidence into the future. In the case of a traumatic event, this integration can be hindered, resulting in structural dissociation. In such cases, according to the theory of structural dissociation of the personality, the personality divides itself into several subsystems: the apparently normal part of the personality maintains a functioning in the daily life while the emotional parts remain fixated on (certain elements of) the traumatic experience. Healing involves the fusion of the dissociative parts through the process of integration that allows the development of an autobiographical narrative memory and the resolution of the associated symptoms.
The case presented in this article is that of a man suffering from chronic post-traumatic stress disorder following a severe event that resulted in a complex structural dissociation. The case description focuses on the therapeutic work of synthesis and realization which is described and commented in detail, with the aim to illustrate its clinical relevance. The patient is in complete remission at two years of follow-up.
The concept of integration according to the theory of structural dissociation of the personality can be considered as a valid concept for any type of psychotherapy. Its clinical utility requires further research to establish its relevance in different approaches.
Porter, J. L. B. (2022). EMDR therapy with people who have intellectual disabilities: process, adaptations and outcomes. Advances in Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities, 16(1), 32-43. doi:10.1108/amhid-07-2021-0033
Joanne L.B. Porter, Department of Psychology, Livewell Southwest, Plymouth, Devon, UK.
Emerging evidence indicates that adapted eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR) can be useful for people with intellectual disabilities in treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, the required adaptations are not described in enough detail across the literature, making it difficult for therapists to easily adapt EMDR for people with intellectual disabilities. This paper aims to address this by describing 14 clinical cases, along with outcome data for six people, and the views of five people with intellectual disabilities about EMDR.
A total of 14 people with mild or moderate intellectual disabilities and varied experiences of trauma were offered EMDR by one clinical psychologist in a UK NHS setting; nine people completed EMDR therapy, six people provided outcome data with pre-post measures and five people were asked two questions about EMDR therapy.
Adaptations are described. The outcome data indicate reductions in symptoms of PTSD following EMDR intervention. EMDR was liked and perceived as useful.
This paper provides details about adaptations that can be made to the standard EMDR protocol, reports the views of service users about EMDR and adds evidence that EMDR reduces symptoms of PTSD in people who have intellectual disabilities.
Phillips, R., Pinto, C., McSherry, P., & Maguire, T. (2022). EMDR Therapy for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms in Adult Inpatient Mental Health Settings: A Systematic Review. Journal of EMDR Practice and Research, 16(1), 4-24. doi:10.1891/EMDR-D-21-00022
Rebecca Phillips, Trainee Clinical Psychologist, Shackleton Building (Building 44), University of Southampton, Faculty of Environmental and Life Sciences, Highfield Campus, Southampton, Hants, England SO17 1BJ. E-mail: rep1u18@ soton.ac.uk
Most research evaluating eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy has taken place in community settings, leaving the impact for service users within inpatient environments less clear. This systematic review sought to identify, summarize, and critically evaluate studies that investigated the impact of EMDR on symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) within adult inpatient mental health settings. Seven databases were systematically searched to identify published and unpublished articles eligible for inclusion. Eleven studies, published between 1995 and 2020, were included within this review. All studies showed that EMDR improved PTSD symptoms, across a variety of study populations. However, these findings are limited by the (a) preponderance of case study designs (pre- venting causal attribution); (b) provision of synchronous treatments; (c) poor methodological quality; and (d) high heterogeneity across studies. Prior research has shown EMDR’s effectiveness and safety for vulnerable populations. While the evidence is beginning to support its use with those experiencing PTSD symptoms within adult inpatient settings, it is premature to strongly recommend it as a routine intervention. Future research within this area is recommended.
Rostaminejad, A., Alishapour, M., Jahanfar, A., Fereidouni, Z., & Behnammoghadam, M. (2022). Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing as a therapy for rape victims: A case series. Clin Case Rep, 10(3), e05620. doi:10.1002/ccr3.5620
Open Access: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35340633
Zhila Fereidouni, Department of Medical Surgical Nursing, Nursing School, Fasa University of Medical Sciences, Fasa, Iran. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
A case series was conducted on three rape victims who were hospitalized with a diagnosis of major depressive disorder (MDD). Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) was employed to reduce their risk of suicide or suicidal ideations. EMDR can be an effective treatment to reduce the level of suicidal ideation in rape victims.
Rozek, D. C., Baker, S. N., Rugo, K. F., Steigerwald, V. L., Sippel, L. M., Holliday, R., . . . Smith, N. B. (2021). Addressing co-occurring suicidal thoughts and behaviors and posttraumatic stress disorder in evidence-based psychotherapies for adults: A systematic review. J Trauma Stress. doi:10.1002/jts.22774
David C. Rozek, UCF Restores and Department of Psychology, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL 32816. E-mail: email@example.com
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a well-established risk factor for suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Historically, guidelines for treating PTSD have recommended against the use of trauma-focused therapies for patients who are at high risk for suicide, likely due to concerns about potential suicide-related iatrogenesis, specifically the "triggering" of suicidal behaviors. This systematic review examined evidence of the impact of treatments specifically designed to treat PTSD or suicide on both PTSD- and suicide-related outcomes. The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines were followed, and a total of 33 articles met the full inclusion criteria: 23 examining PTSD treatments, four examining suicide-focused treatments, and six examining combined treatments. PTSD and combined treatments reduced both PTSD- and suicide-related outcomes, with most studies focusing on cognitive processing therapy or prolonged exposure. Suicide-focused treatments (e.g., cognitive therapies for suicide prevention) also reduced suicide-related outcomes, but the findings were mixed for their impact on PTSD-related outcomes. Overall, PTSD treatments had the most support, primarily due to a larger number of studies examining their outcomes. This supports current clinical guidelines, which suggest utilizing PTSD treatments for individuals who have PTSD and are at risk for suicide. Suicide-focused and combined treatments also appeared to be promising formats, although additional research is needed. Future research should seek to compare the effectiveness of the approaches to the treatment of PTSD and suicidal thoughts and behaviors concurrently as well as to inform guidelines aimed at supporting decisions about the selection of an appropriate treatment approach.
Tarquinio, C., Machado, J., Longo, R., Siles, J., & Bruno…, J. (2022). The Treatment of Anxious-Depressive Disorders among Breast Cancer Patients Integrating the EMDR Psychotherapy: From Pilot Study Results to the Development of a Randomized Trial. Psychology, 13, 313-327. doi:10.4236/psych.2022.133019
Open Access: https://hal.univ-lorraine.fr/hal-03611652/document
Cyril Tarquinio, Université de Lorraine, APEMAC, Metz, France.
In recent years, the literature has shown the efficacy of EMDR with cancer patients in reactional disorders such as post-traumatic, depressive and anxious symptoms. However, those studies have several methodological limitations. This pilot study aims to test the feasibility and acceptability of the EMDR approach among female patients with invasive breast cancer, in order to adjust the intervention to the target population, to validate and adopt the standardized protocol before any large-scale randomized trials. Fifteen patients were included between December 2017 and May 2018 and were treated by EMDR therapists. Following the feedback from therapists, patients and the medical team, adaptations were made regarding the organization of the sessions, patient inclusion criteria, measured variables and EMDR standard protocol. With that design, the aim is to implement a trial starting from the reality of clinical practice with a rigorous methodology. The randomized trial is ongoing.
Valedi, S., MoradiBaglooei, M., Ranjbaran, M., Chegini, V., Griffiths, M. D., & Alimoradi, Z. (2022). The efficacy of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing in reducing anxiety among female university students with primary dysmenorrhea. BMC Psychology, 10(1). doi:10.1186/s40359-022-00757-0
Open Access: http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40359-022-00757-0
Sahar Valedi and Mohammad Moradi Baglooei, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Qazvin University of Medical Sciences, Qazvin, Iran. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
Background: Unpleasant experiences of dysmenorrhea can lead to increased anxiety. The anxiety associated with dysmenorrhea is a pain-related anxiety which might reduce the efficacy of medication as well as enhance the perception of pain. The present study evaluated the efficacy of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) in reducing anxiety among female university students with primary dysmenorrhea.
Methods: In this randomized controlled trial, 88 female university students were recruited from April 2019 to February 2020. Eligible participants were selected by convenience sampling and were allocated into study groups (44 individuals in the intervention group and comparison group) using balanced block randomization. The final sample comprised 78 participants who completed the study (39 individuals in each group). Data were collected using the Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, Subjective Units of Distress Scale, and Validity of Cognition Scale before the intervention and at the time of the first menstrual period after completion of the intervention. The intervention group received EMDR in two individual interventional sessions which lasted approximately one hour. Data analysis was performed using analysis of variance with control of covariance method at a significance level of 0.05.
Results: The results of the study showed that EMDR did not have a statistically significant effect on State-Trait Anxiety of patients with dysmenorrhea (p > 0.05). Based on the Cohen’s d effect size of 0.06 for state-anxiety, -0.01 for trait- anxiety, and partial eta square less than 0.059 for both uncorrected and corrected models, the intervention was within a trivial effect.
Conclusion: EMDR intervention did not have a statistically and clinically significant effect on State-Trait Anxiety of patients with dysmenorrhea. Therefore, the efficacy of EMDR in treating dysmenorrhea-related anxiety remains inconclusive.
Voorendonk, E. M., Sanches, S. A., Tollenaar, M. S., De Jongh, A., & Van Minnen, A. (2022). Augmenting PTSD treatment with physical activity: study protocol of the APPART study (Augmentation for PTSD with Physical Activity in a Randomized Trial). Eur J Psychotraumatol, 13(1), 2016219. doi:10.1080/20008198.2021.2016219
Open Access: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35126881
E.M. Voorendonk, PSYTREC, Professor Bronkhorstlaan 2, 3723 MB Bilthoven, The Netherlands. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Background: New intensive trauma-focused treatment (TFT) programmes that incorporate physical activity have been developed for people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, the unique contribution of physical activity within these intensive TFT programmes has never been investigated in a controlled manner.
Objectives: This randomized controlled trial will investigate the effectiveness of physical activity added to an intensive TFT programme. In addition, the study aims to investigate the underlying mechanisms of the effects of physical activity on the change in PTSD symptoms.
Methods: Individuals with PTSD (N = 120) will be randomly allocated to two conditions: a physical activity or a non-physical active control condition. All participants will receive the same intensive TFT lasting eight days within two consecutive weeks, in which daily prolonged exposure and EMDR therapy sessions, and psycho-education are combined. The amount of physical activity will differ per condition. While the physical activity condition induces daily physical activities with moderate intensity, in the non-physical active control condition no physical activity is prescribed; but instead, a controlled mixture of guided (creative) tasks is performed. The two primary outcome measures are change in PTSD symptoms from pre- to post-treatment and at six months follow-up, measured with the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS-5), and the PTSD Checklist for DSM-5 (PCL-5). Additionally, self-reported sleep problems, depressive symptoms, emotion regulation, dissociation symptoms and anxiety sensitivity will be measured as potential underlying mechanisms.
Conclusions: This study will contribute to the research field of augmentation strategies for PTSD treatment by investigating the effectiveness of physical activity added to intensive TFT.
Trial registration: This trial is registered in the Netherlands Trial Register (Trial NL9120).
Weiland, F. P. G., Rathschlag, M., & Klatt, S. (2021). Anxiety Reduction and Improved Concentration in Schoolchildren through Wingwave® Coaching. Children (Basel), 8(12), 1102. doi:10.3390/children8121102
Stefanie Klatt. E-mail: email@example.com
(1) Background: For nearly 20 years, the wingwave® method, which combines elements of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) and a muscular strength test, has been used to reduce anxiety and improve relaxation in subjects. Past studies have scientifically evaluated this method in various contexts and have found it to be effective. In this study, we investigated the effects of short-term wingwave® coaching on specific anxiety parameters regarding school, concentration ability, and subjective feelings towards two self-chosen themes in schoolchildren. (2) Methods: A group of 53 schoolchildren aged 11 to 12 years were randomly divided between an experimental and a control group. The experimental group received an intervention of three wingwave® coaching sessions (one hour each). In these sessions, past and present negative feelings towards school as well as psychological resources to face future tasks in school were focused on and utilized. (3) Results: The results showed that the overall text anxiety, manifested anxiety, and dislike of school decreased significantly in the experimental group after the three coaching sessions compared to the control group. Furthermore, both concentration ability and the subjective feeling towards self-chosen subjects improved significantly in the experimental group compared to the control group. (4) Conclusions: Our results indicate that the wingwave® method is an appropriate and effective instrument to reduce school anxiety and to improve concentration performance in schoolchildren-at least in the short and medium term.