Psychotherapies for complex trauma: A combination between EMDR and mindfulness


Faced with the effects of trauma, new psychotherapies are emerging in France, converging especially around awareness, experience and emotion. The hypothesis put forward here concerns the complementarities of the two following approaches: Mindfulness, part of a behavioural and cognitive context. EMDR that uses neuroscience through its ABS. The implementation of a protocol based on EMDR and mindfulness, has shown convincing results on the demented elderly person suffering from complex PTSD. The protocol begins with a session devoted to anamnesis and symptoms evaluation. The second phase consists of desensitization and cognitive restructuring. The principal foundations rely on EMDR but also include mindfulness exercises to reduce anxiety due to the effects of therapy or otherwise allow the possibility to bring new material when it seems to encounter a deadlock. The third phase is the consolidation of therapeutic benefits. For this, ABS are based on the patient's resources and meditation exercises are performed in order to amplify the restructuration. The combination of these two therapies could allow to potentiate their respective effects. The single case study that we conducted allowed us to observe encouraging results: reduction of symptoms of revival, autonomic hyper-activation and avoidance. Effects were also observed for co-morbid symptoms namely depression, anxiety and psychotic manifestations. The combination of these two approaches seems profitable and requires replication.






H. Tounsi
P. Pacioselli
L. Riou
C. Gouret
L. Gross
A. Quader
Jérôme Palazzolo

Original Work Citation

A. Tounsi, Pacioselli, P., Riou, L. Gouret, C., Gross, L., Quader, A., & Palazzolo, J. (2017, April). Psychotherapies for complex trauma: A combination between EMDR and mindfulness. European Psychiatry, 41S, S726). doi:10.1016/j.eurpsy.2017.01.1320



“Psychotherapies for complex trauma: A combination between EMDR and mindfulness,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed July 4, 2020,

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