EMDR Therapy-Case Study


The EMDR Therapy sample can be very important to understand Emdr. 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. The anamnesis was taken in detail in the first interview. It was decided to apply EMDR therapy to Ms. Z.
The second session was given an appointment after 3 days to start emdr therapy. Again before the end of the session, Ms. Z was given detailed information about emdr therapy and she was asked to do research on EMDR therapy before coming to session 2.

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

Education level: University
“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, antidepressant treatment was started and different types of antidepressants were tried for 4 years to respond to treatment by a psychiatrist.

The client stated 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 had applied to a 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.


At the beginning of the session, the client was given a safe place exercise for 5-10 minutes. As a safe place, the counselor chose the moment when she was shaken on the swing in the garden of the house where she lived as a child. As a reminder word “tranquility” has chosen the word. The client explained how if she felt very uncomfortable, she could stop the work by making a ”Stop“ 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 counselee was asked to express what she felt when she was having a panic attack, and she was asked where she had lived for the first time.
The counselee is running to the hospital after receiving notice that her husband has 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. When the client recalled the incident, she was asked what the most striking picture was. 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.

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: I die, 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 with two items.

The client was asked to focus on his / her negative beliefs, emotions, and the pain he felt in his belly, and asked to visualize his feelings. It was observed that the image of the client was very good and that he lived again. During the bilateral stimulation, he frequently put his hand on his stomach and suffered. About 80 minutes, different pictures and imagery were studied. The level of discomfort of emotion went down to 5. The appointment was given to the counselor after one week.


The second Emdr session was started a week ago. 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 was asked what was coming to his mind when bilateral stimulation was being continued. The client said that ”something very absurd was coming and it had nothing to do with it ini. He was asked what was coming to his mind, stating that it was important for him to say what had happened to him.

Client Ms Z stated that she appeared in a scene 7-8 years ago seen on TV with her husband. The counselor was asked to remember what happened on that stage. There was a magazine program on TV. In the program, the wife of a politician who had died a great many years ago. This politician’s wife gave herself to night life after her husband died. He became one of the most important news stories on the magazine’s agenda.

Z lady, watching the scene with her husband, the husband “traitor woman, so her husband was waiting for the death,” he recalled as the comments. When he remembered this, the expression of confusion on Z lady’s face was observed.

The counselee was told to stay in that moment and keep that mind in his mind and the bilateral stimulation continued. During the bilateral stimulation, hypnotic trance state was observed in the client. Again, while the Z Lady, “but I would betray my husband if I got better,” he said. This sentence came out of the mouth as soon as the output and began to cry .

Bilateral stimulation was continued by telling the client to stay in his imagination and keep the moment in his mind. During bilateral stimulation, hypnotic trans status was observed in the client. Ms. X said, “but if I got better, I’d betray my husband.”

 As soon as he said this sentence, he came out of trance and started sobbing. Emotions were made to the client by therapeutic practices like an empty chair technique (what would your husband say if he saw your current condition? If your husband used to sit on the couch at the time), the client was confronted.

Ms. Z; “If I got better, I’d betray my husband” confronted him and the bilateral stimulation continued. It was observed that the discomfort level decreased to 0 in 10 minutes.

The counselee was asked if anything had occurred to him. He said, “I am fine now but I am concerned that this kind of well-being is temporary.”

Bilateral stimulation was continued by saying to focus on this thought. The session was ended and a week later an appointment was given. The counselee was asked to record his panic attacks during a week.


At the beginning of the session, the patient was examined for a week of panic attacks. Panic attack episode decreased by around 80 percent compared to previous weeks. However, the counselee expressed 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 was asked for a positive belief validity score. His positive belief was raised to 3 by the counselee. Bilateral stimulation was continued for the placement of positive belief and after 30 minutes of study (bilateral bilateral stimulations and hypnotic suggestions were synchronized), the validity of positive belief (VOC) was increased to 7 points. After the body scan, the session was finished. The appointment was given 15 days later. The counselee was asked to keep a “mood” record for 15 days.


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. Morale and motivation were observed to be high. During the interview, her motivation was promoted with indirect indoctrination. Summarizing the change she had had, she explained that kurtul I was acting unconsciously for the last 5 years and you disrupted this theater in my subconscious. The counselee was asked to come to the check-up two months later or at least give information by telephone. Two and a half months later, the counselee phoned 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.


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

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