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The Mind/Body Connection?

The use of EMDR therapy to treat chronic pain

Eye-movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR) was originally developed as a treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) by Francine Shapiro in 1989. Since then it has become an empirically validated treatment for a wide range of psychological issues including depression (Ostacoli et al. 2018) obsessive-compulsive disorder (Marsden et al. 2018) and phobias (Doering 2013). EMDR therapy is informed by the adaptive information processing (AIP) model (Shapiro 2001), this theoretical framework posits that maladaptively processed memories from traumatic events are the cause of many psychopathologies. Unprocessed traumatic memories are thought to be stored in the ‘raw’ unintegrated form of emotions and physical sensations (Stickgold 2002) that are triggered in the present moment and cause the presenting symptoms.