Alterations in autonomic tone during trauma exposure using eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) - Results of a preliminary investigation

Description

EMDR combines stimuli that evoke divided attention – e.g. eye movements – with exposure to traumatic memories. Our objective was to investigate psycho-physiological correlates of EMDR during treatment sessions. A total of 55 treatment sessions from 10 patients with PTSD was monitored applying impedance cardiography. Onset of every stimulation/exposure period (n = 811) was marked and effects within and across stimulation sets on heart rate (HR), heart rate variability (HRV), pre-ejection period (PEP) and respiration rate were examined. At stimulation onsets a sharp increase of HRV and a significant decrease of HR was noticed indicating de-arousal. During ongoing stimulation, PEP and HRV decreased significantly while respiration rate significantly increased, indicating stress-related arousal. However, across entire sessions a significant decrease of psycho-physiological activity was noticed, evidenced by progressively decreasing HR and increasing HRV. These findings suggest that EMDR is associated with patterns of autonomic activity associated with substantial psycho-physiological de-arousal over time.

Format

Journal

Language

English

Author(s)

Martin Sack
Wolfgang Lempa
Adrian Steinmetz
Friedhelm Lamprecht
Arne Hofmann

Original Work Citation

Sack, M., Lempa, W., Steinmetz, A., Lamprecht, F., & Hofmann, A. (2008, October). Alterations in autonomic tone during trauma exposure using eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) - Results of a preliminary investigation  Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 22(7), 1264-1271. doi:10.1016/j.janxdis.2008.01.007

Collection

Citation

“Alterations in autonomic tone during trauma exposure using eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) - Results of a preliminary investigation,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed August 11, 2020, https://emdria.omeka.net/items/show/17633.

Output Formats