The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of the eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) Couple Protocol on the relationship-satisfaction, depression, and anxiety levels of couples. This protocol differs from standard EMDR procedures in that the partners are together in the treatment session, and engage in bidirectional stimulation simultaneously. The treatment targets are disturbing events that the couples have experienced together. Couples have the opportunity to accept, recognize, and witness each other’s recovery process during the session. The EMDR Couple Protocol consists of eight phases, and it was developed for couples wanting to improve their relationship. The study sample consisted of 18 couples suitable for the application of the EMDR Couple Protocol. Treatment was provided by an EMDR Europe Level 2 EMDR psychotherapist to the couples. The mean number of sessions was 14.27 ± 4.04. The couples showed significant improvement between pre-EMDR, post-EMDR, and at three months follow-up with large effect sizes for relationship satisfaction (η2 = 0.944), depression (η2 = 0.385), and anxiety (η2 = 0.258). The present study evaluating the effectiveness of the EMDR Couple Protocol showed a positive effect on the relationship-satisfaction, depression and anxiety symptoms of the couples. The EMDR Couple Protocol appeared to be safe and effective.
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Doğan, C. K., Yaşar, A. B., & Gündoğmuş, İ. (2021). Journal of EMDR Practice and Research, 15(4), 218–230. https://doi.org/10.1891/EMDR-D-21-00008
Journal of EMDR Practice and Research