Effective use of EMDR therapy (techniques) on victims of sexual trauma


Sexual victimization is an endemic societal problem associated with a range of mental health sequelae such as anxiety, depression and PTSD, and known to negatively impact the individual's functioning, physical health and (sexual) relationships. Therefore, effective treatments of these problems with evidence-based methods is highly important to reduce psychological suffering and to prevent revictimization. This workshop will update participants on how EMDR therapy can be applied effectively in young and adult victims of recent as well as chronic sexual trauma. First, state of the art knowledge about medical, neurobiological and psychological aspects of sexual trauma will be presented. For example, typical reactions during sexual trauma such as 'tonic immobility' and 'genital arousal' will be highlighted. Next, videocase illustrations and practicum will help to expand participants' EMDR strategies for this specific group of patients, including those who are diagnosed with Complex PTSD as a result of early and chronic sexual victimization. Finally, special attention will be paid to the effective application of 'flash forwards' within the treatment of sexually abused individuals because anticipatory fear to be abused again (so called revictimization), but also fear of consensual sexual intercourse (even after the traumatic events have been succesfully processed) are very common among victims of sexual trauma.






Iva Bicanic
Ad de Jongh

Original Work Citation

Bicanic, I., & de Jongh, A. (2016, June). Effective use of EMDR therapy (techniques) on victims of sexual trauma. Presentation at the at the 17th EMDR Europe Association Conference, The Hague



“Effective use of EMDR therapy (techniques) on victims of sexual trauma,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed December 3, 2021, https://emdria.omeka.net/items/show/23890.

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