EMDR Research News January 2012
Jarero, I., & Uribe, S. (2011). The EMDR protocol for recent critical incidents: Brief report of an application in a human massacre situation. Journal of EMDR Practice and Research, 5(4), 156-165. doi:10.1891/1933-318.104.22.168
Ignacio Jarero, Boulevar de la Luz 771. Jardines del Pedregal. Álvaro Obregón, México City, 01900. E-mail:
This ongoing field study was conducted subsequent to the discovery of clandestine graves with 218 bodies recovered in the Mexican State of Durango in April 2011. A preliminary psychometric assessment was conducted with the 60 State Attorney General employees who were working with the corpses to establish a triage criterion and provide baseline measures. The Impact of Event Scale (IES) and the short posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) rating interview were administered, and the 32 individuals whose scores indicated moderate-to-severe posttraumatic stress and PTSD symptoms were treated with the eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) Protocol for Recent Critical Incidents (EMDR-PRECI). Participants were assigned to two groups: immediate treatment (severe scores) and waitlist/delayed treatment (moderate scores). Each individual client session lasted between 90 and 120 minutes. Results showed that one session of EMDR-PRECI produced significant improvement on self-report measures of posttraumatic stress and PTSD symptoms for both the immediate treatment and waitlist/delayed treatment groups. This study provides preliminary evidence in support of the protocol's efficacy in a natural setting of a human massacre situation to a group of traumatized adults working under extreme stressors. More controlled research is recommended to evaluate further the protocol's efficacy.
Konuk, E., Epozdemir, H., Haciomeroglu Atceken, S., Aydin, Y. E., & Yurtsever, A. (2011). EMDR treatment of migraine. Journal of EMDR Practice and Research, 5(4), 166-176. doi:10.1891/1933-322.214.171.124
Hejan Epözdemir, Adult and Family Center, Institute for Behavioral Studies, Valikonagi 173 Kat: 6/2 Nisantasi, 34363, Istanbul, Turkey. E-mail:
This pilot study was conducted at Gaziosmanpaşa Hospital, Istanbul, to investigate the effectiveness of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) on migraine headache by specifically treating traumas related to headaches. The sample consisted of 11 Turkish participants with chronic daily headache: 9 women (mean age of 31.7 years) and 2 men (mean age of 30.5 years). Participants had a history of migraine ranging from 2 to 30 years (mean = 12 years). Variables included participant daily ratings of headache frequency, duration, and intensity; medication intake; hospital emergency room (ER) visits; and scores on the Symptom Assessment-45 Questionnaire. The results showed a significant decrease in headache frequency and duration with no reduction in pain intensity. There was a significant decrease in the use of painkillers and ER visits. All results were maintained at 3-month follow-up, providing some preliminary evidence that EMDR may be effective and useful as an alternative treatment for migraine.
Mevissen, L., Lievegoed, R., Seubert, A., & De Jongh, A. (2011). Do persons with intellectual disability and limited verbal capacities respond to trauma treatment? Journal of Intellectual & Developmental Disability, 36(4), 274-9. doi:10.3109/13668250.2011.621415
Liesbeth Mevissen, Accare, Diepenveenseweg 169, 7413 AP, Deventer, the Netherlands. E-mail:
Background - There is not one case report of successful trauma treatment with the use of an evidence-based treatment method in people with substantially limited verbal capacities. This paper assessed the applicability of eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR) in two clients with moderate ID, serious behavioural problems, and histories of negative life events.
Method - The 8-phase protocol of EMDR, a first-line treatment for psychological trauma, was applied. Results In both cases, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)-like symptoms decreased in a total of only 6 and 5 sessions, respectively. Gains were maintained at 32 and 10 months follow-up.
Conclusions - EMDR seems to be an applicable psychological trauma treatment for persons with limited verbal capacities. Considering the importance of these findings, further and more rigorous research is required.
Renner, W., Bänninger-Huber, E., & Peltzer, K. (2011). Culture-Sensitive and resource oriented peer (CROP)-groups as a community based intervention for trauma survivors: A randomized controlled pilot study with refugees and asylum seekers from Chechnya. Australasian Journal of Disaster and Trauma Studies.
Walter Renner: University of Innsbruck, Dept. of Psychology, Innrain 52, Innsbruck, Austria, A-6020, E-mail:
Asylum seekers and refugees frequently suffer from post-traumatic stress and culturally sensitive methods towards reducing symptoms should be taken into account. The aim of the work reported here was to examine the effectiveness of Culture-Sensitive and Resource Oriented Peer (CROP)—Groups for Chechen asylum seekers and refugees towards reducing post-traumatic symptoms, anxiety, and depression. Some ninety-four participants were randomly assigned to 15 sessions of CROP—or Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT)—Groups, to 3 single sessions of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), or to a Wait-List (WL). The results indicated that CROP was significantly superior to WL, and was equally effective as CBT in reducing post-traumatic symptoms, anxiety, and depression. Improvements still were present at three and six month follow-up occasions. EMDR yielded negative results. According to this pilot study, CROP-Groups pose a promising, culturally sensitive alternative to psychotherapy with Chechen migrants.
EMDR Success with Iraqi War Veteran
from Jordan Shafer, MS, LPC of Compassion Works