Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing treatment of adjustment disorder


The advent of Eye Movement Desensitization (EMDR) for treatment of PTSD has been classified by the American Psychological Association as probably efficacious. Actual practice descriptions and EMDR training material suggest that many clinicians are using the technique to treat other mental health issues as well. This study compares outcome measures for two sessions of EMDR and two sessions of exposure for participants with Adjustment Disorder (AD). A licensed, EMDR trained mental health professional provided treatment for this serial case study (n = 9) design. A control treatment condition of time-yoked imagined exposure to disturbing memories in participants was used to control for common treatment factors and exposure elements of the treatment protocol. Measures included the Impact of Events Scale-R (IES-R), and the Outcome Questionnaire 45.2 (OQ) and the Symptom Response Rating Scale (SRRS). At follow-up, 7 of 9 individuals clinically improved by demonstrating score changes that exceeded the RCI [text missing here?] clinically significant improvement for 4 of these 6 individuals from baseline to followup as defined by the OQ authors. Those with anxious or mixed features improved, while participants with depressive features and ongoing stressors showed no improvement. This study's hypothesis was that the effects of EMDR would show score improvements on the dependent measures beyond the effects of RUIC. This was not found from baseline to follow-up. After the first treatment phase, 75% of the cases receiving EMDR produced clinically significant improvement on IES Total scores, as opposed to 25% of the RUIC treated individuals in the same phase. Implications for the clinical use of EMDR and exposure for AD are discussed. It is suggested that clinical evaluation of symptom and personality features presented by a patient prior to treatment will aid in the appropriate selection of effective treatment methods.






Mary Lynn Mihelich

Original Work Citation

Mihelich, M. L. (2000, August). Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing treatment of adjustment disorder. Dissertation Abstracts International: Section B: The Sciences and Engineering, 61(2-B), 1091



“Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing treatment of adjustment disorder,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed July 26, 2021, https://emdria.omeka.net/items/show/17459.

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