EMDR in older adults with posttraumatic stress disorder


Recognition of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in older adults is often difficult due to its complicated presentation. Once recognized, trauma symptoms can, in accordance with (inter)national guidelines, be successfully treated with eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy. However, limited empirical research has been done on the expression and treatment of PTSD in older adults. This article explains trauma and age in the context of psychotherapy. It discusses the interaction between age and pathology and summarizes the cognitive issues related to age, PTSD, and anxiety. It provides practical suggestions for how these can be addressed in treatment. Age-related challenges related to motivation are identified with practical suggestions for addressing them. The case illustrates the necessary additions and subtractions for older adults, with clear explanations and instructions. This article points the way for future research.






Ellen Gielkens
Marja Vink
Sjacko Sobczak
Erlene Rosowsky
S. P. J. Bas Van Alphen

Original Work Citation

Gielkens, E., Vink, M.,  Sobczak, S.,  Rosowsky, E., & Van Alphen, B.  (2018).  EMDR in older adults with posttraumatic stress disorder. Journal of EMDR Practice and Research, 12(3), 132-141. doi:10.1891/1933-3196.12.3.132



“EMDR in older adults with posttraumatic stress disorder,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed June 17, 2021, https://emdria.omeka.net/items/show/25486.

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