Treatment of phobias with EMDR


In contrast with the learning model which proposes a strategy of gradual exposure to the 44 feared stimuli, the primary goal in EMDR is the processing of traumatic memories which are thought to be impaired. One advantage of EMDR above an exposure approach involves client comfort. Prolonged real-life exposure to anxiety provoking stimuli or thought is not always easy to pursue. Consequently, clients are not always ready or motivated enough to endure such a procedure; a procedure which also holds a potential risk of drop out before treatment can often not be successfully concluded. Another possible advantage of EMDR relates to the costs of treatment. For example, it may be more useful to apply EMDR than exposure in vivo treat flying phobia for which in many cases, as part of their in vivo treatment, clients have to take costly flights. The most important advantage seems to be the possibility of utilising EMDR for situations where the critical triggers cannot be reproduced or simulated in real life (e.g., certain sexual, illness or death situations) or, more generally, for which phobic stimuli are hard to obtain. This workshop focuses on the clinical application of EMDR with specific phobias. Participants will learn when and how to apply EMDR with phobias and integrate this into a general (cognitive-behavioural) treatment approach. This approach is illustrated by several video taped treatments.






Ad de Jongh

Original Work Citation

de Jongh, A. (2001, May). Treatment of phobias with EMDR. Presentation at the 2nd EMDR Europe Association Conference, London, England




“Treatment of phobias with EMDR,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed January 15, 2021,

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