EMDR in the treatment of depression


Severe depression is one of the most common mental disorders and affects between 15-20 % of the general population in their lifetimes. Although many psychotherapeutic and pharmacologic interventions exist that are considered to be effective in depression, the treatment results are often less than satisfactory.

High relapse rates (ranging at 50% after two years), unsatisfactory remissions and suicidal risks are among the major problems. EMDR is internationally recognized as one of the most effective tools to treat posttraumatic stress disorder (WHO 2013). Increasingly studies show that stressful life events play a major role in depressive disorders. In recent years therefore EMDR has come into focus as a new intervention tool in the treatment of depressive patients.

The European EDEN study group has conducted research on the subject since 2007, published 5 controlled studies (three of them RCTs) and treated at least 500 depressive patients using the EMDR DeprEnd protocol. The studies have shown that EMDR is at least equal to CBT treatment in depression but seems to result in more complete remissions than other interventions. The keynote will discuss the possibilities to include EMDR in the routine treatment of depression.






Arne Hofmann

Original Work Citation

Hofmann, A. (2020, June).  Keynote at the EMDR UK Virtual Conference & AGM



“EMDR in the treatment of depression,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed December 6, 2021, https://emdria.omeka.net/items/show/26329.

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