Case series: EMDR processing of OCD symptoms


The present paper is an attempt to extend the mechanisms of action in EMDR beyond the processing of past traumatic experiences. The two subjects in the case series have not processed past traumatic experiences, and have attained significant progress with processing firstly, memories of triggers based in recent events and secondly, memories of obsessional rituals based in neutralising sentences and behaviours (safety behaviours). The fact that these two cases show positive outcomes indicates that OCD treatment is successful when it focuses on processing recent experiences (triggers or events that precede the OCD symptoms) and memories of the symptoms elicited on exposure to the feared stimuli. Insofar as EMDR in the processing of recent experiences is akin to ERP procedures in its exposure to recent triggers suggests a certain similarity in the mechanism of actions between EMDR and ERP procedures.






Matthew Woo

Original Work Citation

Woo, W. (2020, January). Case series: EMDR processing of OCD symptoms. Paper presented at the 4th EMDR Asia International Conference, Bangkok, Thailand



“Case series: EMDR processing of OCD symptoms,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed June 19, 2021,

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