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Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic neurological disease of the central nervous system that affects both the brain and the spinal cord by destroying the myelin sheath that protects the nerve fibers. This chapter describes the eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy approach applied to the treatment of posttraumatic reactions related to MS. It briefs the emotional burden of MS and specific disease-related problems, followed by the main results of research in psychosocial treatments. The chapter explores the clinical features of traumatic reactions related to the disease. This protocol aims to support patients in their difficult tasks of coping with the following: the illness, fears connected to its future progression, and the difficult choices managing the stage of the disease characterized by the significant worsening of symptoms, often resulting in the total loss of autonomy and the ability to communicate normally with the external world.
Studies show that there is a high risk for relapse in major depression (MD). Each depressive episode increases the risk of relapse by 15” and the episodes get more severe with each relapse. It is the third most common cause for primary health consultation and the leading cause of disability from ages 15 to 44. Research shows that distinct psychosocial stressors precede most of the depressive episodes by 1 or 2 months (episode triggers). Following the Adaptive Information Processing (AIP) model, DeprEnd© is an eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (
EMDR) therapy protocol that addresses an important cause of depression that may also contribute to the maintenance of the symptoms of the disorder: pathogenic memory networks. In the DeprEnd© protocol, four main types of memories are addressed and worked with: classic traumatic memories (Criterion A), often non-Criterion A-based episode triggers, belief systems, and depressive and suicidal states.
Many depressive patients come into psychotherapy treatment with little focus, decreased energy, and a loss of confidence in themselves. In the psychoeducation section of this chapter, the authors focus on helping patients learn about their emotions, accept their protective emotions, and reconnect with their enriching emotions. They teach many different resources such as the container, paying attention to the five senses, breathing, and learning how to regulate their vegetative systems. Also, they teach patients to stay within their window of tolerance and how to manage themselves when they are outside of it. In the stabilization section, the authors teach therapists to use many techniques in the service of self-regulation and self-care: the Self-Contact Technique, diaphragmatic breathing, grounding, aligning, glimpsing the Hidden Heart: The Magic Query, Hakomi’s 3-Step Procedure, and the Triple Thanksgiving.
In this brief chapter, all the current randomized controlled trial (
RCT) studies that treat depressive patients with eye movement desensitization and reprocessing ( EMDR) are listed in more detail.
- Go to chapter: The EMDR-Drawing Integration (EMDR-DI) Protocol: A Visual Approach to Complex Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Dissociation, and Depressive States
The EMDR-Drawing Integration (EMDR-DI) Protocol: A Visual Approach to Complex Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Dissociation, and Depressive States
For the treatment of patients with complex depressive disorders with comorbidities and often significant psychosomatic symptoms, additional treatment tools are often very helpful. Drawing is a useful way to represent trauma, supporting the differentiation between the adaptive and traumatized selves as a way to limit avoidance and dissociative reactions. It was first used to assist patients who were blocked in their ability to access traumatic material and who move between shut down and emotional arousal. Drawing was a less threatening way to first establish a sense of safety through body-based resources and then to enter the uncomfortable world of their traumatic experience. With the drawing as the image for the eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (
EMDR) Assessment Phase, the rest of the assessment is accessed in the usual manner. Whenever a drawing is used, the Standard EMDRProtocol should be used later to be sure the material is fully reprocessed. This chapter describes the EMDR-Drawing Integration ( EMDR-DI) Protocol and includes case studies and patients’ drawings.