March 30 is World Bipolar Day. Bipolar disorders are often lifelong conditions in which a person experiences widely varying mood changes swinging from feelings of mania to feelings of depression. There are several types of bipolar disorder. People with bipolar diagnoses often have a history of trauma as well, which leads to the question: Can EMDR therapy be used as part of the trauma treatment process for bipolar disorder? Research in this regard is still emerging, but encouraging. Valiente-Gomez et al. (2019) provide an excellent overview of bipolar diagnostic factors, the research that has been done up to this point, and that which is in progress regarding EMDR therapy and bipolar disorders. Below are some resources that could be helpful for EMDR therapists considering working with this population.*
Peer-Reviewed Research Articles: Note that not all articles are open access, but those that are should be indicated that way.
Bedeschi, L. (2018). EMDR for bipolar disorder: A systematic review of the existing literature. Clinical Neuropsychiatry, (15)3, 222.225. Open access: https://www.clinicalneuropsychiatry.org/clinical-neuropsychiatry-volume-15-issue-3-june-2018/
Landin-Romero, R., Novo, P., Vicens, V., McKenna, P. J., Santed, A., Pomarol-Clotet, E., Salgado-Pineda, P., Shaprio, F., & Amann, B. L. (2013). EMDR therapy modulates the default mode network in a subsyndromal, traumatized bipolar patient. Neuropsychobiology, 67(3), 181-184. https://doi.org/10.1159/000346654
Maxfield, L. (2019). A clinician’s guide to the efficacy of EMDR therapy. Journal of EMDR Practice and Research, 13(4), 239-246. Open access: http://dx.doi.org/10.1891/1933-322.214.171.124
Moreno-Alcazar, A., Radua, J., Landin-Romero, R., Blanco, L., Madre, M., Reinares, M., . . . & Amann, B. L. (2017). Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy versus supportive therapy in affective relapse prevention in bipolar patients with a history of trauma: Study protocol for a randomized controlled trial. Trials, 18(1), 160. Open access: https://doi.org/10.1186/s13063-017-1910-y
Novo, P., Landin-Romero, R., Radua, J., Vicens, V., Fernandez, I., Garcia, F., . . . & Amann, B. L. (2014). Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy in subsyndromal bipolar patients with a history of traumatic events: A randomized, controlled pilot-study. Psychiatry Research, 219(1), 122-128. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychres.2014.05.012
Oh, D. & Kim, D. (2014). Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing for posttraumatic stress disorder in bipolar disorder. Psychiatry Investigation, 11(3), 340-341. Open access: https://doi.org/10.4306/pi.2014.11.3.340
Perlini, C., Donisi, V., Rossetti, M. F., Moltrasio, C., Bellani, M., & Brambilla, P. (2020). The potential role of EMDR on trauma in affective disorders: A narrative review. Journal of Affective Disorders, 269(15), 1-11. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2020.03.001
Valiente-Gomez, A., Moreno-Alcazar, A., Gardoki-Souto, I., Masferrer, C., Porta, S., Royuela, O., . . . & Amann, B. L. (2019). Theoretical background and clinical aspects of the use of EMDR in patients with bipolar disorder. Journal of EMDR Practice and Research, 13(4), 307-312. Open access: https://dx.doi.org/10.1891/1933-3126.96.36.1997
Valiente-Gomez, A., Moreno-Alcazar, A., Treen, D., Cedron, C., Colom, F., Perez, V. et al. (2017). EMDR beyond PTSD: A systematic literature review. Frontiers in Psychology, 8, 1668. Open access: https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2017.01668
Books/Chapters and Other Resources:
Amann, B. L., Batalla, R., Blanch, V., Capellades, D., Carvajal, M. J., Fernandez, I., . . . & Luber, M. (2015). The EMDR therapy protocol for bipolar disorder. In M. Luber (Ed.), Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy scripted protocols and summary sheets: Treating anxiety, obsessive-compulsive, and mood-related conditions (pp. 223-287). New York, NY: Springer, Publishing Co.
Del Hierro, M. L., & Hayden, S. C. W. (2017). Integrating interpersonal social rhythm therapy and eye movement desensitization reprocessing in treatment planning for bipolar disorder. Vistas Online, Article 52. https://www.counseling.org/knowledge-center/vistas/by-subject2/vistas-client/docs/default-source/vistas/integrating_interpersonal
*We welcome any related resources or article suggestions at firstname.lastname@example.org.