The potential of EMDR in gynaecology and obstetrics: Special application with infertile women


The author of this presentation works as psychologist and psychotherapist in a clinic in Fribourg/Switzerland in the department of gynecology and obstetrics. Various applications of EMDR are used, both in gynecologic and obstetrical outcomes. A special patient population, namely infertile women in search of becoming pregnant, are an important part of the work. The purpose of this presentation is to show the special approach that E. Zimmermann has developed by working with infertile women. Infertile women - in opposition to sterile women - are women with no apparent medical reason why they do not become pregnant. These infertile women often pass a particularly long and difficult phase to get pregnant. They are always disappointed by the repeated negative outcome of all their efforts to become pregnant. This is a very difficult phase in the life of the couple too, and not few couples separate during this phase. Especially women feel unable being a mother and their self-esteem is very low. This is why the author has developed a special application of EMDR to this population. The aim is to cope with the difficulties related to these different stages. Another purpose is preparing a desired and possible pregnancy. Women mostly have very different anamnesis, some also including trauma. They have in particular a personal pregnancy or non-pregnancy history, e.g. also abortion. In addition the medical assistance utilized for getting pregnant is quite different for every case. Lots of them end up by using fertilization techniques, which have a low chance of success. This makes it rather difficult for EMDR to treat these women i a standardized way. The author of this workshop has developed a flow-chart providing an concept of applying EMDR at different stages with different types of targets in order to compare the outcomes. By working with EMDR and infertile women, it appears that they become pregnant quicker than what the statistics predict. There are also women who become pregnant after working with EMDR before they start the fertility-program. This is why the author prepares a research study to try to figure out if the EMDR-process can have a positive impact on fertility.






Eva Zimmermann

Original Work Citation

Zimmermann, E. (2010, June). The potential of EMDR in gynaecology and obstetrics: Special application with infertile women. In Female issues. Symposium conducted at the 11th EMDR Europe Association Conference, Hamburg, Germany



“The potential of EMDR in gynaecology and obstetrics: Special application with infertile women,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed September 20, 2021,

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