EMDR in the treatment of rape-specific peri-traumatic dehumanisations and its sequelae


This presentation will introduce an empirically established model of rape-specific peritraumatic responses, their consequences and the implications for EMDR treatment. The first half will present findings from our 2013 research (Moor, et al., 2013) in which we examined the pathogenic role of rape-induced peritraumatic dehumanization, and subsequent humiliation and “freezing.” A causal model linking these rape-related peritraumatic responses to symptoms was established while simultaneously distinguishing rape from other types of nonsexual trauma in relation to this particular model. Structural path analyses identified dehumanization and humiliation as highly prevalent and almost invariably predictive of a freeze response in rape; and, in turn, of elevated self-blame and post-traumatic stress disorder in its wake, while concurrently showing a poor fit of this model to other traumas.

The second half of the presentation will focus on the ways in which EMDR can facilitate the recovery from these particular aspects of sexual trauma. I will begin by stressing the necessity of addressing this inevitable injury to rape survivors’ human dignity, while showing how the practice of dual awareness can play a significant role in countering the sense of dehumanization, above and beyond the provision of safety. Next, I will delineate the types of therapeutic interweaves that can be used to further the resolution of these specific elements of the trauma of rape, where indicated. These interventions are to aid survivors place their responses, both during and following the assault, in the framework of the experienced dehumanization, so as to free them from the consequent symptoms.






Avigail Moor

Original Work Citation

Moor, A. (2014, June). EMDR in the treatment of rape-specific peri-traumatic dehumanisations and its sequelae. In EMDR with research symposium (Domna Ventouratou, Chair). Symposium presented at the 15th EMDR Europe Association Conference, Edinburgh, Scotland




“EMDR in the treatment of rape-specific peri-traumatic dehumanisations and its sequelae,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed October 20, 2020, https://emdria.omeka.net/items/show/22935.

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