Use of EMDR in a "dementing" PTSD survivor


Presents a case study of a 72-yr-old woman with dementia to examine the usefulness of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) in treating posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in "dementing" elderly. EDMR is a therapeutic tool in which clients are made to reexperience and cognitively reprocess their trauma in imagination, moving their eyes simultaneously. It is reported to be a good instrument in treating younger survivors of trauma, however, a few studies support its use in elderly. The S experienced a series of traumatizing events. Test results showed that the S had symptoms of PTSD, depression, anxiety, and borderline dementia. After 3 sessions of EDMR, significant improvement was seen in the S, who was ready to start and lead a normal life. It is suggested that EDMR allows the client to participate in the past as currently real, and to evaluate the unfolding of the process from an observer perspective.






Lee Hyer

Original Work Citation

Hyer, L. (1996). Use of EMDR in a "dementing" PTSD survivor. Clinical Gerontologist, 16(1), 70-73. doi:10.1300/J018v16n01_06



“Use of EMDR in a "dementing" PTSD survivor,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed October 27, 2021,

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