BACKGROUND: Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a psychotherapeutic approach that has originally been developed to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Recently it has been suggested as a complementary therapy in a wide range of clinical conditions. In particular, affective disorders as bipolar disorder (BD) and major depressive disorder (MDD) have a higher lifetime prevalence of traumatic or stressful life events (SLEs) compared to the general population, which makes them good candidates for the application of EMDR. METHODS: A bibliographic search on PUBMED, Scopus, and ScienceDirect of studies applying EMDR to people with a primary diagnosis of bipolar disorder (BD) and major depressive disorder (MDD) (with or without a comorbid PTSD) was conducted. RESULTS: Literature search retrieved 15 studies, of which 3 were focused on BD and 12 on MDD. Overall, they suggest EMDR as an effective tool in reducing trauma-related but also manic and depressive symptoms, with few effect sides and high adherence rates. LIMITATIONS: Few small studies exist with heterogeneous and not gold-standard methodology, especially for BD. CONCLUSIONS: Overall, retrieved studies can be considered as first attempts at investigating the applicability of EMDR in affective disorders. Although far to be conclusive, preliminary evidence suggests EMDR as a useful adjunctive approach in the treatment of BD and MDD, especially when other treatments have failed. It is now the time to implement such trauma-focused therapy to larger samples of patients using more rigorous methods.

The potential role of EMDR on trauma in affective disorders: A narrative review

Perlini, Cinzia;Donisi, Valeria;Rossetti, Maria Gloria;Bellani, Marcella
;
2020

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a psychotherapeutic approach that has originally been developed to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Recently it has been suggested as a complementary therapy in a wide range of clinical conditions. In particular, affective disorders as bipolar disorder (BD) and major depressive disorder (MDD) have a higher lifetime prevalence of traumatic or stressful life events (SLEs) compared to the general population, which makes them good candidates for the application of EMDR. METHODS: A bibliographic search on PUBMED, Scopus, and ScienceDirect of studies applying EMDR to people with a primary diagnosis of bipolar disorder (BD) and major depressive disorder (MDD) (with or without a comorbid PTSD) was conducted. RESULTS: Literature search retrieved 15 studies, of which 3 were focused on BD and 12 on MDD. Overall, they suggest EMDR as an effective tool in reducing trauma-related but also manic and depressive symptoms, with few effect sides and high adherence rates. LIMITATIONS: Few small studies exist with heterogeneous and not gold-standard methodology, especially for BD. CONCLUSIONS: Overall, retrieved studies can be considered as first attempts at investigating the applicability of EMDR in affective disorders. Although far to be conclusive, preliminary evidence suggests EMDR as a useful adjunctive approach in the treatment of BD and MDD, especially when other treatments have failed. It is now the time to implement such trauma-focused therapy to larger samples of patients using more rigorous methods.
Affective disorders; Bipolar disorder; EMDR; Major depressive disorder; PTSD; Stressful life events; Trauma
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/1014706
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