EMDR for treatment of anxiety disorder in a patient with intellectual disability
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a structured, eight-phase, mainly non-verbal psychotherapeutic approach that is developed to resolve symptoms that have stemmed from disturbing and unprocessed life experiences. EMDR is well known for the treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). However, modified protocols have been developed for the treatment of other anxiety and mood disorders; especially if rooted from a traumatic experience in the past. People with Intellectual Disability (ID) are more likely to suffer from adverse experiences during their lives and psychiatric consequences are common among them. In addition, they are more likely to have difficulty in verbal communication which is a requirement in other psychological interventions but less so in EMDR. All these point towards EMDR as a potential add-on tool in this group of clients. Unfortunately there is limited, yet encouraging, published literature about the use of EMDR in people with ID. In this paper, I will report a successful use of EMDR for the treatment of PTSD and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) in a 35 year old patient with moderate ID and then use this to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using EMDR for people with ID in a wider context
Original Work Citation
Shaddel, F. (2016). EMDR for treatment of anxiety disorder in a patient with intellectual disability. The Open Conference Proceedings Journal, 7, 149-152. doi:10.2174/2210289201607010149
“EMDR for treatment of anxiety disorder in a patient with intellectual disability,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed June 19, 2021, https://emdria.omeka.net/items/show/25721.