EMDR processing with dissociative clients: Adjunctive use of opioid antagonists
Dissociative symptoms are common in traumatic stress syndromes (e.g., complex PTSD, disorder of extreme stress not otherwise specified [DESNOS], borderline personality disorder, and dissociative disorders). They commonly interfere with psychotherapy including EMDR treatment. It appears that the adaptive information processing system gets overwhelmed and shuts down, thereby barring the integration and resolution of traumatic experience and thus precluding positive treatment outcomes. A series of case studies by Ferrie and Lanius found that the administration of an opioid antagonist prior to EMDR treatment significantly reduced dissociative symptoms, somatization, and numbing, as well as aiding trauma processing. The present chapter describes the relevant scientific research, as well as a theoretical rationale and a protocol, for the use of opioid antagonists in trauma processing with EMDR.
Original Work Citation
Lanius, U. F. (2005). EMDR processing with dissociative clients: Adjunctive use of opioid antagonists. In R. Shapiro (Ed.), EMDR solutions: Pathways to healing (pp. 121-146). New York, NY: W. W. Norton & Co
“EMDR processing with dissociative clients: Adjunctive use of opioid antagonists,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed October 26, 2020, https://emdria.omeka.net/items/show/17378.