A call for a treatment protocol for bipolar 1 disorder and EMDR


Some research has addressed EMDR in the treatment of psychosis. This research addressed psychotic symptoms as presenting earlier traumas. Few studies have utilized EMDR to address the occurrence of a manic episode in those diagnosed with Bipolar 1 Disorder. Manic episodes are characterized by excessive involvement in activities that have potential for painful consequences. These include unrestrained buying sprees, sexual indiscretions or unwise business investments. The aftermath of these behaviors can produce feelings of embarrassment, shame, inadequacy and confusion. When the events of a manic episode are traumatic for clients, EMDR should be considered as a treatment option. If traumatic memories of a manic episode are not addressed in treatment, persons experiencing Bipolar 1 Disorder may not fully recover or return t premorbid functioning. One case study is presented in which a client with Bipolar 1 Disorder who experienced a manic episode as a traumatic event was treated with EMDR. After treatment with EMDR, the client experienced improvement in quality of life, lowered level of disturbance of the original event as well as overall acceptance and increased management of the disorder. Further research is needed to determine a protocol for treating person with Bipolar 1 Disorder utilizing EMDR.






Amy Quinn

Original Work Citation

Quinn, A. (2017, August). A call for a treatment protocol for bipolar 1 disorder and EMDR. Poster presentation at the 22nd EMDR International Association Conference, Bellevue, WA



“A call for a treatment protocol for bipolar 1 disorder and EMDR,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed August 1, 2021, https://emdria.omeka.net/items/show/24606.

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