EMDR and specific fears: The phobia protocol single traumatic event



When a person starts to demonstrate an excessive and unreasonable fear of certain objects or situations that in reality are not dangerous, it is likely that the person fulfils the criteria for specific phobia as stated in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition, text revision (American Psychiatric Association, 2000). The main features of a specific phobia are that the fear is elicited by a specific and limited set of stimuli (e.g., snakes, dogs, injections, etc.) that confrontation with these stimuli results in intense fear and avoidance behavior, and that the fear is unreasonable and excessive to a degree that interferes with daily life. EMDR can be effective in clients suffering from fears and phobias, and significant improvements can be reached within a limited number of sessions. EMDR may be particularly useful for phobic conditions with high levels of anxiety, with a traumatic origin or with a clear beginning, and for which it is understandable that resolving the memories of the conditioning events would positively influence its severity. The aim of this chapter is to illustrate how EMDR can be applied in the treatment of specific fears and phobic conditions.


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Ad de Jongh



“EMDR and specific fears: The phobia protocol single traumatic event,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed June 19, 2021, https://emdria.omeka.net/items/show/18747.

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