EMDR Therapy-Case Study

NOTE: This is not an example of exercise. It is a case study and not fictional.
The following EMDR Therapy sample is presented by the clinical psychologist and psychotherapist Mustafa Gödeş. You can find the bibliography of the Case Example at the end of the article.

The applicant “Ms. Z” was admitted to our clinic with complaints of panic attacks and depression. A detailed anamnesis was taken in the first interview. The second session EMDR theraphy is suggested to Ms.Z and she was given detailed information about the therapy..

Note1: The more information the client has, the more motivated the patient is, and the positive effect on the therapy process.

Case Study

Age:55
Education level: University
Occupation:
“Consultant Z” lost her husband in a car accident 5 years ago. The first 6 months had a normal mourning period. At the end of 6 months, the counselee began to observe symptoms of panic attacks and depression, and when the severity of these symptoms increased, she consulted the psychiatry polyclinic. After psychiatric examination,she started antidepressant treatment and used different types of antidepressants for 4 years.


Education level: University
Occupation:
“Consultant Z” lost her husband in a car accident 5 years ago. The first 6 months had a normal mourning period. At the end of 6 months, the counselee began to observe symptoms of panic attacks and depression, and when the severity of these symptoms increased, she consulted the psychiatry polyclinic. After psychiatric examination,she started antidepressant treatment and used different types of antidepressants for 4 years.

The client mentioned that the drugs had only short-termed the symptoms but did not work in the long term to solve the problem. In addition, the client reported that she experienced side effects such as excessive weight gain, hair loss and decreased mental performance, which led to a decrease in the quality of life due to the drugs she used. She stated that she was going to psychotherapist two years ago in addition to drug treatment, that she had been receiving psychotherapy for two years and there were no visible improvements. In addition to this, Ms. Z applied to various people who perform alternative practices (eft practitioner, bioenergy expert, religious rituals uygu) and stated that she could not get a result from the practices.

2. INTERVIEW 1. EMDR SESSION:

At the beginning of the session, the client exercises for 5-10 minutes. Then counselor asks the client to think about her childhood, swinging in the backyard of her house where she lived and think about tranquility. If the client feels unconfortable she can stop this by giving a sign.


Considering that the patient’s panic attack was more disturbing than depression, it was decided to start working on the panic attack problem. The counselor asked her to express what she felt when she was having a panic attack.
The counselee says she was running to the hospital when she learnt that her husband had a car accident. She sees the body of the husband over the stretcher in the emergency room.

She’s so panic that she describes it as “my heart felt like it was going to explode.” She thinks she’s having a heart attack and she’s fainting. . The counselee indicates that the husband’s tummy is fragmented (due to a traffic accident). She has never been able to remove this image from his mind. After 6 months, the counselee goes to the emergency room of a hospital for a cold and triggers a trauma for that moment. After that day, panic attacks started.

Analysis

Picture; The corpse of her husband lying on the stretcher in the emergency room.

The most disturbing part; The image of her husband’s shredded abdomen due to a traffic accident.

Feeling emotion: Pain-shock-fear.

Discomfort level of emotions (SUD): 10

The place of emotion: Her abdomen (she feels terrible pain in her stomach during a seizure)

Negative cognition: He died, I’m ruined.

Positive cognition: I am strong.

Validity of positive cognition (VOC): 1
Double Sided Bilateral Stimulation: Eye movements and synchronous use of touch stimulations

The client was asked to focus on his / her negative beliefs, emotions, and the pain she felt in her belly, and asked to visualize her feelings. She was good at visualizing so she was feeling the pain.During the bilateral stimulation, she frequently put her hand on her stomach and suffered. About 80 minutes the level of discomfort of emotion went down to 5.

3. INTERVIEW 2. EMDR SESSION:

The second Emdr session was started a week later. Despite bilateral bilateral stimulation (eye movements sets and string touch) for up to 20 minutes, there was no decrease in the level of discomfort of the client. The counselor asked what was coming to her mind during bilateral stimulation. The client said ”Something very absurd and it had nothing to do with it” . Counselor asked her again stating that it can be important for her to say what had happened to her.

Client Ms Z stated that she was watching a magazine program on TV 7-8 years ago with her husband. The program was about a politician’s wife whose husband died years ago.And how she became alcoholic after her husband’s death.

The counselor tells her to stay in that moment and keep in her mind that the bilateral stimulation continuing. Then MS Z says “But I would betray my husband if I got better,”. and she starts criying.

Then the counselor asks her if anything had happened to her. She says, “I am fine now but I am concerned that this kind of well-being is temporary.”

Bilateral stimulation continues and the session ends The counselor asks her to record her panic attacks during the week.

4. INTERVIEW

At the beginning of the session, the client was examined for a week of panic attacks. Panic attack episodes decreased by around 80 percent compared to previous weeks. However, the counselee expressed a concern that this state of well-being was temporary. The desensitization study was conducted on these concerns. Prior to initiating a positive belief placement procedure, the counselee asked for a positive belief validity score. Her positive belief has raised thanks to the counselee. Bilateral stimulation continued for the placement of positive belief and after 30 minutes of study (bilateral bilateral stimulations , the validity of positive belief (VOC) increased to 7 points. The counsele asks to keep a “mood” record for 15 days.

5.INTERVIEW:

When the counselee came to the interview, it was observed that there was a high level of positive changes in the emotional state from her physical appearance and speech. She stated that she had practically no seizure except for a few concerns over a period of 15 days. Depression symptoms showed a 70% improvement in depressive symptoms.

The client stated that she had been offered a job offer to work as a specialist in a private company and was evaluating this proposal. During the interview, her motivation has increased with indirect indoctrination. Summarizing the change she had had, she explained ”I was acting unconsciously for the last 5 years and you disrupted this theater in my subconscious.” She then they told her to come to the check-up two months later or at least give information by phone. Two and a half months later, the counselee calls and says she has a normal and healthy life. Although she experienced anxiety and stress from time to time, she was aware that there were normal feelings about daily life.

EVALUATION:

It was noteworthy that the counselee was in search of constant help at the first meeting, although she still could not benefit from both medication and other therapies. The client, in particular, blamed his psychiatrist and other therapists on this issue that she had a resistance to recovery.

The most important reason why Emdr therapy is effective in such a short time is that it actually reveals what this resistance is.

The idea of ​​the unconscious of the counselor was “that I would betray my husband if I got better.” In a conscious therapy, the client would probably need months of therapy sessions to recognize his unconscious belief. However, bilateral stimulation of both lobes of the emdr led to the processing of the information causing the trauma, as well as the hypnotic trance. Since this confrontation resulted in the elimination of resistance in the client, the improvement rapidly developed.

Source: Psikoterapist Mustafa GÖDEŞ, 2013 http://www.psikoterapist.com.tr

About the Author
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Marilyn Walker
Marilyn Walker
I am studying in Florida about Dialectic Behavioral Therapy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. I'm doing research on Neuro-Emotional Technique (NET), Cognitive psychology, Metacognitive Therapy.
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