Sleep and dreams’ Impact on EMDR/AIP psychotherapy


The effectiveness of EMDR contrasts with a limited knowledge about its mechanism of action. Since its inception, EMDR has generated a considerable debate, particularly due to uncertainty about whether EMs are an active ingredient of treatment and whether the mechanisms responsible for its efficacy differ substantially from those operating in trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy [tfCBT] and standard exposure. Several theories on EMDR’s mechanism of action have been proposed and will be discussed in the presentation, which will mostly focus on the rapid eye movement (REM) sleep hypothesis and the recent discoveries in such direction. The first part will also include the pathophysiological bases of PTSD and findings about the neurobiology of EMDR and will be followed by the presentation about the role of dreams in AIP.






Marco Pagani
Enrico Zaccagnini

Original Work Citation

Pagani, M., & Zaccagnini, E. (2017, June). Sleep and dreams’ Impact on EMDR/AIP psychotherapy. Presentation (Andrew Leeds, Chair) at the 18th EMDR Europe Association Conference, Barcelona, Spain




“Sleep and dreams’ Impact on EMDR/AIP psychotherapy,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed February 25, 2021,

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