Treating non-psychotic morbid jealousy with EMDR utilising cognitive interweave


Jealousy is an unwelcomed emotion, which most poeple will have experienced at some time in their lives. In its mildest form, it may be seen as an expression of devoion, however, for some people it can become obsessive and destructive (Mulle, 1991). The possible consequences of this very serious condition can result in suspicion, violence, and the complete breakdown of a relationship. This study highlights the case of man with a long-standing history of jealousy towards his partner. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) would suggest that jealousy was maintained by the person's erroneous assumptioms about sexual behaviour and attractiveness of their partner, a well as pervasive negative schemes of self worth. Any consideration for treatment therefore, needed to address both these areas. The treatment intervention of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) utilising cognitive interweaved was used to reduce the inensity of the jealous reaction. Results showed a marked reduction in the intensity of the emotion of jealosy, which lead to a reduction in the client's challenging and checking behaviours towards his partner. Results also indicate a clear reduction in the client's erroneous automatic negative and jealous thoughts. What is uclear is whether it was the EMDR therapy itself, or a combination of EMDR and other cognitive behavioural therapy interventions that brought about these reductions in symtomatology. Acknowledging the limitations of generalising from single case designs, consideration will be given to the need for further inestigation and research in to the application of EMDR with this client group.






Paul Keenan

Original Work Citation

Mueller, K.-M. (2004, February). Separation anxiety disorder and vomit phobia: An integrated approach. Presentation at the 2nd EMDR Association UK & Ireland Annual Conference, Birmingham, UK



“Treating non-psychotic morbid jealousy with EMDR utilising cognitive interweave,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed October 29, 2020,

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