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Brain Behav. 2015 Jun;5(6):e00342. doi: 10.1002/brb3.342. Epub 2015 Apr 30.

Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy in the treatment of depression: a matched pairs study in an inpatient setting.

Author information

1
Diana Klinik Dahlenburger Str. 2a, D-29549, Bad Bevensen, Germany ; Lueneburg Center of Stressmedicine Im Kamp 9, D-21335, Lueneburg, Germany.
2
Diana Klinik Dahlenburger Str. 2a, D-29549, Bad Bevensen, Germany.
3
Department of Organisational Psychology, University of Groningen Groningen, The Netherlands.
4
Clinical Psychologist Kieler Str. 74-76, D-24340, Eckernfoerde, Germany.
5
Department of Psychiatry, Ulm University Leimgrubenweg 12-14, D-89075, Ulm, Germany.
6
ZiP Niemannsweg 147, D-24105, Kiel, Germany.
7
EMDR-Institute Dolmannstr. 86 b., D-51427, Bergisch Gladbach, Germany.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Depression is a severe mental disorder that challenges mental health systems worldwide as the success rates of all established treatments are limited. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is a scientifically acknowledged psychotherapeutic treatment for PTSD. Given the recent research indicating that trauma and other adverse life experiences can be the basis of depression, the aim of this study was to determine the effectiveness of EMDR therapy with this disorder.

METHOD:

In this study, we recruited a group of 16 patients with depressive episodes in an inpatient setting. These 16 patients were treated with EMDR therapy by reprocessing of memories related to stressful life events in addition to treatment as usual (TAU). They were compared to a group of 16 controls matched regarding diagnosis, degree of depression, sex, age and time of admission to hospital, which were receiving TAU only.

RESULTS:

Sixty-eight percent of the patients in the EMDR group showed full remission at end of treatment. The EMDR group showed a greater reduction in depressive symptoms as measured by the SCL-90-R depression subscale. This difference was significant even when adjusted for duration of treatment. In a follow-up period of more than 1 year the EMDR group reported less problems related to depression and less relapses than the control group.

CONCLUSIONS:

EMDR therapy shows promise as an effective treatment for depressive disorders. Larger controlled studies are necessary to replicate our findings.

KEYWORDS:

AIP model; EMDR; depression; pathogenic memory; stressful life experiences

PMID:
26085967
PMCID:
PMC4467776
DOI:
10.1002/brb3.342
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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