EMDR and olfactory reference syndrome: A case series


Olfactory reference syndrome (ORS) is an illness currently considered a delusional disorder under the DSM-IV criteria. Patients believe that they emit a foul odor, causing them great emotional distress and negative social consequences. Its etiology is inadequately understood, and there is generally a poor response to pharmacological and psychotherapeutic interventions. This article describes the treatment of four consecutive cases of ORS whose pathological symptoms had endured for 8-48 years. The administration of EMDR consisted of processing the various life experiences that appeared to cause and/or trigger the pathology. The EMDR sessions resulted in a complete resolution of symptoms in all four cases, which was maintained at follow-up. Given the rapid and sustained results, we offer a hypothesis based on the Adaptive Information Processing (AIP) model to explain the etiopathology and remission.






Therese McGoldrick
Millia Begum
Keith W. Brown

Original Work Citation

McGoldrick, T., Begum, M., & Brown, K. W. (2008). EMDR and olfactory reference syndrome: A case series. Journal of EMDR Practice and Research, 2(1), 63-68. doi:10.1891/1933-3196.2.1.63



“EMDR and olfactory reference syndrome: A case series,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed December 5, 2020, https://emdria.omeka.net/items/show/17639.

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