The effect of PTSD treatments after stillbirth: Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) combined with hypnotherapy
Objective: Despite advances in obstetric and neonatal care, many women will experience the birth of stillborn infant or the death of a newborn. Stillbirth is a devastating experience for women, sometimes leads to depression, anxiety, traumatic grief and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). There has been very little research examining effective psychotherapy for post-traumatic stress after stillbirth. This study explores the possibility the use of EMDR combined with hypnotherapy in the treatment for post-traumatic stress after stillbirth. Methods: the study consisted of a 'before and after' treatment design combined with follow-up measurements 1-3 years after EMDR treatment. Quantitative data from questionnaires (The impact of Event Scale-Revised (IES-R) and Self-rating Depression Scale (SDS) were collected. In addition, qualitative data from individual interviews with the participants were collected as well. Participants: four out-patient women with post-traumatic stress after stillbirth (three of the four experienced fatal state and emergency caesarean section). Results: Three of the four participants reported reduction of post-traumatic stress after treatment (ranging from two to three sessions) and the beneficial effects remained after 1-3 years. One only took assessment session. Symptoms of intrusive thoughts seemed most sensitive for treatment. Nevertheless, all of the participants have not finished EMDR treatment completely. They were happy at the possibility at working through their stillbirth experience, but not prepared to work with other disturbing memories (feeder memories) in the past. All of the participants were afraid of the influence upon next pregnancy. Conclusion: EMDR combined with hypnotherapy might be a useful tool in the treatment for post-traumatic stress after stillbirth, but we have to take great consideration about the timing of EMDR treatment. Further research is required.
Original Work Citation
Sugimoto, K. (2010, October). The effect of PTSD treatments after stillbirth: Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) combined with hypnotherapy. Presentation at the XVI International Congress of International Society of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynecology, Venice, Italy
“The effect of PTSD treatments after stillbirth: Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) combined with hypnotherapy,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed March 1, 2021, https://emdria.omeka.net/items/show/21109.