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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.
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.
This chapter describes an Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing eating disorders (EMDR-ED) protocol, as integrated in the eight phases of the EMDR standard protocols. It is geared to treat the unique issues that arise when using EMDR therapy to treat either of the potential focuses of concern or parts of the disorder translated into modules. The aim of this chapter is to clarify when and how EMDR therapy can be a part of the broad-spectrum treatment of patients with an eating disorder. Existing treatments for eating disorders are not sufficiently effective and efficient. The chapter introduces experimental consisting of six potential modules and six procedures of target selection. The protocol is based on the transdiagnostic theoretical model of Fairburn and has shown positive results in clinical practice. Empirical validation is needed, and empirical results may necessitate adaptations in this protocol.
Body image refers to the image created in our minds regarding our own body, that is to say, the way in which we see ourselves. The application of the Rejected Self Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Protocol for Body Image Distortion in eating disorders is quite straightforward. It involves neutralizing the three main emotional defenses of rejection, shame, and worry and body image distortion defense that are blocking full awareness of the body and lie between the actual body image and the rejected self. The goals that lead to the therapeutic success are the following: identifying the body as one’s own; accepting the body as one’s own; processing the trauma contained in the rejected self, at both cognitive and emotional levels; substituting body image distortion for acceptance; learning to respectfully feel and take care of the body; and integrating this dissociative part that represents the rejected self and its defense.
The Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy model of self-care for clients was developed by González and Mosquera. Typically, self-care has reduced to physical self-care, namely, food, sleep, and exercise. It is important to take into consideration the person’s mental and emotional needs, including the following: realistic view of self, protecting self from any harmful figures, maintaining appropriate boundaries while interacting with others, recognition and validation of own emotions, finding time to dedicate to self, asking for and being capable of accepting help, treating self well, enhancing rather than destroying well-being. The chapter explains the ways to help clients relate to themselves in a more compassionate way by learning a completely new way of looking at themselves with acceptance, comprehension, and care. This type of works helps repair attachment wounds and introduces new adaptive information that client’s lack, which is a great preparation for future processing of traumatic events.
Individuals who repeatedly return to an abusive and dangerous relationship can often benefit from standard Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy, to resolve their confusion, resolve feelings of shame and helplessness, and make positive choices. Some return to the relationship because of a fear of violent consequences if they attempt to leave, and in these situations, therapy is better focused on creating an action plan to successfully and safely leave a dangerous situation. However, a subset of individuals, who return to a relationship following violence, may be blocked in utilizing the therapeutic power of EMDR by their strong emotional investment in an unrealistic positive image of the abusive partner. The chapter describes a procedure to assist such clients in removing this block to processing, through identifying and targeting a “best moment” memory that represents the distorted idealized image of the partner and of the relationship.
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
- Go to chapter: Summary Sheet: EMDR Therapy Protocol for the Management of Dysfunctional Eating Behaviors in Anorexia Nervosa
- 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.
This chapter explains the Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy protocol for eating disorders, detailing everything the clinician must take into consideration in order to proceed step by step throughout the eight phases of treatment. The goal is to process those traumas and adverse experiences that are the foundation of these disorders, using the artichoke metaphor: working layer by layer from the outside in. Each and every layer holds a part, a defense, and a trauma or adverse life experience, as specified in the part/defense/trauma system. Once the part is named and the defense is identified, it is possible to reach the targeted event/trauma and process it with the standard EMDR protocol. As these events are processed, clients integrate the parts of their inner world. This will be reflected directly in an improvement in their relationship with food and, as a result, the disorder will improve.
- Go to chapter: EMDR Therapy Protocol for the Management of Dysfunctional Eating Behaviors in Anorexia Nervosa
Eating disorders are a pervasive sociocultural phenomenon today, almost exclusively affecting the population of the western world, in particular adolescents and young women. This chapter describes Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy protocol for the management of dysfunctional eating behaviors in Anorexia Nervosa (AN). The purpose of this protocol is to define a specific treatment with EMDR therapy for one of the possible expressions of eating disorders, that is, AN. It is based on the main theoretical contributions concerning the dynamics of eating disorders with particular focus on the risk factors involved in its onset and/or maintenance and a special emphasis on those connected with traumatic life events. The most relevant concepts related to the dynamics of AN explained in the protocol are individual risk factors, attachment wounds and traumatic experiences, dissociative table at mealtime, and parts work.