EMDR with survivors of clergy sexual abuse


This presentation reviews research which investigated the idiosyncratic effects of sexual abuse perpetrated by Roman Catholic Priests and makes related treatment recommendations. The research determined that this distinct form of sexual trauma generated unique posttraumatic symptoms not accounted for within the existing Posttraumatic Stress Disorder conceptual frameworks. These included significant anxiety and distress in areas such as theological belief, crisis of faith, and fears surrounding the participant’s own mortality. This presentation makes recommendations about EMDR treatment with clergy abuse survivors, based on these research findings utilising survivors stories to illustrate case formulation and the utilisation of process and content cognitive interweaves in addressing episodes of blocked processing.






Derek Farrell

Original Work Citation

Farrell, D. (2011, March). EMDR with survivors of clergy sexual abuse. Symposium conducted at the 9th EMDR Association UK & Ireland Annual Conference & AGM, Bristol, UK



“EMDR with survivors of clergy sexual abuse,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed February 28, 2021, https://emdria.omeka.net/items/show/20796.

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