EMDR-based treatment of psychotraumatic antecedents in illicit drug abusers: A report of two cases
The co-occurrence of PTSD and of substance use disorder (SD) is known to be very high. However the question of whether and how to treat such patients remains largely unanswered in the EMDR community. We report on two cases of EMDR-based treatment of heavily affected SD patients in whom psychotraumatic antecedents were identified. EMDR sessions focused on trauma-related material and not on the expression of cue-induced drug craving. The treatment appeared to be a difficult and challenging endeavour. However, some beneficial effects on general comfort and on drug consumption could be observed. A long stabilisation phase was mandatory and the standard EMDR protocol needed to be conducted with much flexibility. Interestingly, there was no provocation of a prolonged psychological crisis or of relapse. Experiencing of emotional stress could be limited to the sessions and dissociation could be absorbed with specific well-known techniques without permanently increasing drug craving. These observations are discussed in relation to previously published concepts of using EMDR in the field of trauma and substance abuse.
Original Work Citation
Rougemont-Bucking, A., & Zimmermann, E. N. (2012). EMDR-based treatment of psychotraumatic antecedents in illicit drug abusers: A report of two cases. Swiss Archives of Neurology and Psychiatry, 163(3), 107-115
“EMDR-based treatment of psychotraumatic antecedents in illicit drug abusers: A report of two cases,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed April 7, 2020, https://emdria.omeka.net/items/show/21693.