EMDR intensive therapy (EMDRIT)


Therapeutic Process seems to be blocked for some patients with strong Developmental Disorders or exposed to Disturbing Early Life Experiences (Bessel A. van der Kolk). A specific approach during EMDR Intensive Therapy (EMDRIT) using the Case Conceptualisation (Andrew Leeds), based on the Adaptive Information Processing (AIP) model (Francine Shapiro), the Attachment Theory (John Bowlby) and the Useful and Necessary Renouncement Principe (Judith Viorst) allow those patients to progress. As a pilot experience, we have been able to use this EMDRIT framework with 64 clients. Their complex disorders included, for each of them, at least 3 of the following symptoms: Anxiety, depression, primary structural dissociation, alcohol addiction, eating behaviour disorders, travel phobia, emotional numbing, affective isolation, hypochondria, phantom limb syndrome, fibromyalgia, cancer, psychological or physical abuse survivor, perpetrator of violent aggressions. For the 25 first clients, we have used the PCL-S (pathology threshold > 44) test. Their pre-treatment average score was 70. It dropped to 28 after EMDRIT treatment, down to 26 after 3 months and stabilised at 29 after 1 year. These first results allowed us to define a target population and an adapted protocol that provides client safety, efficiency and result sustainability. For the 39 next clients, we measured a decrease of the SCL-90-R (pathology threshold > 1,5) test score from 3 before treatment down to 1,4 after treatment, 1,2 after 3 months and 1,3 after 1 year. We measure efficiency on 87% of the clients and a suppression of 80% of the symptoms after 1 year. At the same time, a control cohort of 20 people with identical pathologies saw their score drop from 3 to 2,3 with the same treatment time, using the standard EMDR protocol. From this preliminary result, we are developing some research hypothesis:
•Selection criteria for EMDRIT, based on the patient ability accessing Adaptive Memory Networks (AMN). •The Targeting Sequence Plan, seen as an expression of the Dysfunctional Memory Networks (DMN). •The importance of the client emotional Window Of Tolerance (WOT) for the efficiency of the Adaptive Information Processing system. •Epigenetic show possible structural brain modifications by rehabilitation of fluid links across the 3 levels of the brain (reptilian, limbic and neo-cortical). These changes are immediate and permanent. •Need to standardize appropriate scale for database, in order to foster international research and results sharing. We sea AIP model as an opportunity to move from an analytic and sequential approach to a systemic and integrative approach based on Complex System for a global understanding.






Guy Sautai

Original Work Citation

Sautai, G. (2011, June). EMDR intensive therapy (EMDRIT). Presentation at the 12th EMDR Europe Association, Vienna Conference, Austria



“EMDR intensive therapy (EMDRIT),” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed January 26, 2022, https://emdria.omeka.net/items/show/20671.

Output Formats