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Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Approach in the Treatment of Anxiety Sensitivity

Şennur Tutarel-Kışlak
2004; 19(53):49-67

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Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is one of the first treatments of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) to be supported in controlled research, and it is now increasingly extended to other psychological disorders. The present study was designed to compare the effects of muscle relaxation and EMDR procedures in the treatment of anxiety sensitivity. Nineteen undergraduate students responded on the Anxiety Sensitivity Profile (asp) which was a standardized, self-report measure with four subscales. They were randomly assigned to two groups (treatment condition; muscle relaxation and EMDR); and they were filled out the ASP scale before, five days, and four months after the intervention (intervention time; pre and post intervention and follow up). Results showed that EMDR treatment produced a significant decline in fear of respiratory symptoms subscale score, and this decline appeared to continue after a four month follow-up. In addition fear of the cardiac symptoms too decreased in EMDR condition after a four month follow-up. The findings support the notion that EMDR can be a more effective treatment than the muscle relaxation for those who have an anxiety sensitivity with a trauma related etiology and also who experience anxiety sensitivity in certain circumstances. Consistency of the findings with the literature was discussed.

Keywords: Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), applied muscle relaxation, anxiety sensitivity