Using EMDR with individuals in an acute mental health crisis


This symposium describes how Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) can be used in an NHS mental health crisis team with individuals who are expressing strong desire and intent to die by suicide. It will explore previous research in this area and will examine how offering EMDR Therapy may expedite recovery for clients and how offering immediate access to specialised treatment can result in NHS Trusts reducing costs associated with further psychological treatment in the community.

Nine cases are presented of clients who were under the care of an NHS Crisis Resolution and Home Treatment Team (CRHTT) and who received brief EMDR Therapy. Treatment directly addressed recent or historical traumatic experiences, without extensive preparation even though clients had suicidal intent and were in crisis. All clients showed marked improvement in their mental state and a reduction in their risk in regards to harm to self and harm to others.

EMDR Therapy has the potential to significantly improve the outcomes of clients experiencing a mental health crisis. An update on current research in this area is also presented following funding from the Health Foundation in the UK to further explore the benefits of using EMDR in a CRHTT and on an acute psychiatric ward.






Simon Proudlock
Jonathan Hutchins

Original Work Citation

Proudlock, H., & Hutchins, J. (2016, June). Using EMDR with individuals in an acute mental health crisis. In Research track - case studies (Domna Ventouratou, Chair). Presentation at the at the 17th EMDR Europe Association Conference, The Hague.



“Using EMDR with individuals in an acute mental health crisis,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed October 23, 2020,

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