EMDR in the treatment of depression


Scientific studies of EMDR have shown that it is one of the most effective tools to treat posttraumatic stress disorder. One of the lesser known properties of EMDR is that it also seems to be an effective psychotherapy method in a number of disorders that may have part of their origins in stressful memories. One of these disorders is chronic depression.

Severe depression is one of the most common mental disorders and affects between 5-15% of the general population in their lifetimes. Although many psychotherapeutic and pharmacologic interventions exists that are considered to be effective in depression, the treatment is less than satisfactory. High relapse rates (ranging at 50% after two years), unsatisfactory remissions and suicidal risks are among the major problems.

Research shows that there may be a link between traumatic events (like abuse experience in childhood) and the later occurrence of a depressive disorder. However there is no published systematic study that tries to explore the potential use of trauma-specific treatments like EMDR with depressive patients.

The presenter will report the status of research on the subject, and will talk about possible EMDR strategies that have shown to be useful in depressive patients.

Learning objectives:
Understanding the relationship of trauma and depression; Creating a treatment plan for depressive patients following the AIP model; and Find strategies to deal with relapsing and chronic depression






Arne Hofmann

Original Work Citation

Hofmann, A. (2013, June). EMDR in the treatment of Ddepression. Presentation at the 14th EMDR Europe Association Conference, Geneva, Switzerland



“EMDR in the treatment of depression,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed September 16, 2021, https://emdria.omeka.net/items/show/22022.

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