EMDR with bipolar disorder


Research of the last decade suggests a decisive role of traumatic events on the onset and on the course of severe mental disease, especially affective disorders. The robustness of this data has been largely ignored by the psychiatric community, also due to a striking lack of trials designated to traumatized patients with severe mental disease. With this workshop we aim to create awareness on that issue by reviewing existing evidence of the impact of trauma on the patients’ life with severe mental disease. We also will show first controlled data of EMDR in instable, traumatized bipolar patients, with a focus on its effect on trauma and mood stabilization. Furthermore, we will present for the first time a Spanish Bipolar EMDR protocol as direct result of the above-mentioned study; to highlight practical details of this protocol, we also will discuss two cases of the study in an interactive way with the audience.

Learning objectives: Trauma in severe mental disorder is so far not adequately recognized and treated by therapists; Understanding the role of trauma in severe mental disorder, with a focus on bipolar disorder; Results of a first controlled pilot study of instable bipolar patients suggest that EMDR reduces effectively trauma symptoms and trauma load; and Results also suggest that EMDR stabilizes better the mood of subsyndromal, instable bipolar patients than a control group.






Benedikt Amann

Original Work Citation

Amann, B. (2013, June). EMDR with bipolar disorder. Presentation at the 14th EMDR Europe Association Conference, Geneva, Switzerland



“EMDR with bipolar disorder,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed July 26, 2021, https://emdria.omeka.net/items/show/22025.

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