EMDR in psychosis: Guidelines for conceptualization and treatment


A significant proportion of clients with psychosis have experienced childhood trauma and suffer from comorbid posttraumatic stress disorder. Research indicates that exposure to distressing early life events plays an important role in the emergence and persistence of psychotic symptoms—either directly or indirectly. The Two Method Approach of EMDR conceptualization and recent findings on reprocessing of psychosis-related imagery fit with the existing cognitive models of psychosis. This article presents a series of preliminary guidelines for conceptualizing EMDR treatment in psychosis, which are based on both theory and clinical experience and are illustrated with case examples. Several obstacles and related treatment strategies for using EMDR in psychosis are described. EMDR in psychosis can very well be combined with other standard interventions such as psychotropic medication and cognitive behavioral therapy.






David P. G. van den Berg
Berber M. van der Vleugel
Anton B. P. Staring
Paul A. J. de Bont
Ad de Jongh

Original Work Citation

van den Berg, D. P. G., van der Vleugel, B. M., Staring, A. B. P., de Bont, P. A. J., & de Jongh, A. (2013). EMDR in psychosis: Guidelines for conceptualization and treatment. Journal of EMDR Practice and Research, 7(4), 208-224. doi:10.1891/1933-3196.7.4.208



“EMDR in psychosis: Guidelines for conceptualization and treatment,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed June 14, 2021, https://emdria.omeka.net/items/show/22474.

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