EMDR treatment of chronic daily headache and migraine


Chronic headache is a prevalent clinical problem which affects negatively the majority of the population. The most common type of headache is migraine and tension headache. These can decrease the functioning and the quality of life of people who suffer from headaches in different contexts as work, family, school and social life. In addition, a lot of psychological disorders such as depression and anxiety are seen or occur in people who have headaches. Purpose: The purpose of this study is to investigate the effectiveness of EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) on Chronic Daily Headache and Migraine. Within this framework there are three goals, one of which is to measure the efficiency of EMDR treatment on chronic headache population. The second one is to develop an EMDR Headache Protocol so that the treatment is standardized and will be used, revised and updated by researchers and clinicians in the future. The third one IS to find an answer to the question: How long does it take to treat a headache? That is, to determine the minimum and maximum sessions necessary for the treatment. Method: The study is carried out at Gaziosmanpa,sa Hospital Neurology Department in Istanbul with 11 Turkish patients who had suffered from chronic daily headache and migraine. The sample of this study consisted of 9 women and 2 males. Results: The results demonstrated that the frequency, the intensity and the duration of headaches were reduced by using EMDR Also it was shown that the number of emergency visits and the amount of painkillers used were decreased. The study will be explained in more detail and the results will be discussed during the presentation. Our learning objectives are: 1. to gain theoretical information about the rationale of using EMDR in treatment of chronic headache and migraine 2. to gain empirical information about the efficacy of this treatment and 3. to discuss the EMDR Headache Protocol as well as the number of sessions necessary for the treatment. In previous studies, EMDR has been found to be efficient in the treatment of chronic pain. Nevertheless, there was a gap in the literature regarding the efficacy of EMDR in the treatment of chronic daily headache and migraine. The novelties that are provided by this current study are 1. It may be an alternative treatment for chronic headache and migraine in the future 2. although the research question needs further investigation, it is the first empirical study which examines the effectiveness of this treatment.






Emre Konuk

Original Work Citation

Konuk, E. (2010, June). EMDR treatment of chronic daily headache and migraine. Symposium conducted at the 11th EMDR Europe Association Conference, Hamburg, Germany



“EMDR treatment of chronic daily headache and migraine,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed May 11, 2021, https://emdria.omeka.net/items/show/19847.

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