The EXACT method: Resolution of substance abuse-related trauma in couples counseling utilizing eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR)
This study utilized single session EMDR (Shapiro, 1995, 2002) and the Experiential Approach to Couples Treatment (EXACT method) to target substance abuse related trauma in non-dependent partners (NDPs) of former substance abusers. Chemical dependent partners (CDPs) received simultaneous experiential treatment. Treatment effects and maintenance of treatment between experimental and wait-list control groups were examined for trauma reduction, commitment to sobriety, and emotional intimacy. Correlations among intimacy, emotional quality, between and commitment to sobriety were examined. Meta-analyses informed the literature review and described the gold standards (Foa & Meadows, 1997) which were used to rate controlled research. The Emogram (Priesmeyer, Knickerbocker, Comstock, & Mudge, 2001) was used for pre-posttest comparisons. This study met the gold standards at a rating of seven (RGS = 7.0). The sample consisted of 12 couples (N = 24) drawn from adult volunteers who met screening criteria. Data was analyzed using within subjects multivariate analyses of variance with repeated measures, and Pearson product-moment correlations. Trauma-related symptoms were significantly reduced for NDPs. Commitment to sobriety was measured by anxiety and depression symptoms which were significantly reduced for chemical dependent partners (CDPs). Trauma, anxiety, and depression reductions were maintained for all participants at follow-up. Maintenance of gains in commitment to sobriety and in emotional intimacy for CDPs failed to reject the null hypotheses. Measures of Self Disclosure, Love and Affection, and Personal Validation were significantly correlated, but were not significantly correlated to Trust or to Emotional Quality. No significant relationship was found between Emotional Quality and Commitment to Sobriety or between Emotional Quality and Emotional Intimacy for CDPs. Conclusions include that a single session of the treatment was efficacious for trauma, anxiety, and depression reduction and for increased commitment to sobriety and intimacy. Treatment gains for trauma, anxiety, and depression reduction were maintained. Commitment to sobriety and emotional intimacy gains tended to be maintained but were not significant. Intimacy measures tended to be related to each other, but relationships among other measures were not significant. Recommendations include larger sample sizes, additional variables of study, and lengthening follow-ups. Comparative treatment methods are recommended. Future research should include families.
Original Work Citation
Capps, F. (2005). The EXACT method: Resolution of substance abuse-related trauma in couples counseling utilizing eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR). Dissertation Abstracts International Section A: Humanities and Social Sciences, 66(4-A), 1282
“The EXACT method: Resolution of substance abuse-related trauma in couples counseling utilizing eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR),” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed June 12, 2021, https://emdria.omeka.net/items/show/15429.