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Fibromyalgia or the fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is a chronic pain disorder characterized by fatigue, muscle pain, tenderness, and sleep difficulties. This syndrome is referred as “soft-tissue rheumatism”. Fibromyalgia is a disorder that intrudes upon the daily life of people and is a worldwide phenomenon. Fibromyalgia might also include other symptoms such as concentration and memory problems, labile mood, depression, anxiety, sleep problems, painful menstrual cramps, and numbness. Because FMS has no relevant organic pathology, it is placed in the realm of medically unexplained physical symptoms. Recent studies are providing early evidence for the use of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy for chronic pain patients. Also, EMDR therapy is being used for other pain conditions, including fibromyalgia. Therefore, the EMDR Fibromyalgia Syndrome Protocol created includes the three-pronged protocol and an in-depth history of the client’s FMS and trauma. More research is needed to support this new protocol.
Migraine has been related to mental illness in the medical field for more than a century. The characteristics of migraine are head pain and neurological, gastrointestinal, and autonomic symptoms. A wide variety of treatments are available for migraine, including both medication and a variety of other therapies. Nonmedication treatments involve a lot of modalities such as behavioral therapy, diet modification, hypnotherapy, and biofeedback. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy sees chronic pain, including migraine pain, as involving a disturbing somatic component, combined with the emotional reaction to the pain that gets stored in the brain. The EMDR therapy for pain integrates the processing of pain-related events accompanied by the disturbing emotional and body sensations related with the pain. EMDR therapy includes the three-pronged protocol and an in-depth history of the client’s migraine and trauma. More research is needed to support this new protocol.
- Go to chapter: Summary Sheet: The Impact of Complex PTSD and Attachment Issues on Personal Health: An EMDR Therapy Approach
The idea behind Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR) Protocol and Chronic Pain Control Protocol for the treatment of chronic pain conditions is to desensitize all of the emotional distress associated with the pain and after that to focus on the pain itself. The EMDR condition starts with a comprehensive assessment of the patient’s history to identify relevant traumatic and pain-related memories causing emotional distress and dysfunctional emotional response. It discusses the patient’s explanatory model, and subsequently provides psychoeducation to develop a better understanding of the links between trauma, pain, emotional response, and the principles of EMDR. Desensitizing and reprocessing starts by first targeting the most emotionally distressing memories; afterwards all pain-associated memories of subsequent events are focused until the subjective degree of distress of these memories drops down followed by current pain. Towards the end, future pain issues are targeted by the installation and reinforcement of EMDR-based skills.
- Go to chapter: The Impact of Complex PTSD and Attachment Issues on Personal Health: An EMDR Therapy Approach
Complex trauma is prevalent in the general therapy population and is rooted in early neglect, and traumas of long duration, resulting in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), dissociative disorders, attachment problems, and personality disorders. This chapter provides information that will help Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapists enhance their ability to provide effective EMDR treatment for clients diagnosed with complex trauma who are also dealing with current health problems. It highlights the use of the adverse childhood experiences (ACE) questionnaire, which provides much needed information on childhood abuse, neglect, attachment disorders, PTSD, and dissociation. This questionnaire, when combined with a broad developmental and health history, will be very helpful in case conceptualization and development of targets for work in phases 4 to 7. Additionally, the chapter describes the links between the ACE issues and later health risks and problems that make these clients difficult to treat.