EMDR and traumatic brain injury: A case analysis


Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) often occur alongside post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and/or PTSD symptoms. Because of this, the EMDR protocol is a useful tool of processing traumatic memories associated with the TBI, as well as the overall impact of injury on one’s life. However, given that traumatic brain injuries alter the brain’s processes and functioning, it is necessary to modify the EMDR protocol to meet the needs of this population. Drawing on practice-based research with multiple clients, this presentation will explore the link between TBI and PTSD, assessment and case planning with existing TBI, the benefits of an EMDR approach, and the modifications to the standard protocol that may be necessary when working with this population. Using a discourse analysis of clinical notes and client feedback, the presentation is rooted in practice insights of the clinician and the client. Participants will be introduced to a case example including: history, case formulation, and session progress. Participants will be provided a framework for how modifications were made and the reasoning for such modifications. As no two clients are the same, TBIs present various symptoms and levels of functioning that require a keen insight, excellent client attunement, and patience. Given the presence of TBIs amongst our veterans, in the motor-vehicle sector, and abuse survivors, it is important that efficacious treatment is provided that addresses traumatic experiences and the need for modifications.






Michelle Gibson

Original Work Citation

Gibson, M. (2015, April). EMDR and traumatic brain injury: A case analysis. Presentation at the EMDR Canada Annual Conference, Vancouver, BC



“EMDR and traumatic brain injury: A case analysis,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed December 8, 2021, https://emdria.omeka.net/items/show/23128.

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