Functional neurological disorder (FND) is a common diagnosis in neurology clinics, and there is some evidence psychological therapy can be of benefit. Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy (EMDR) is a well-evidenced treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and there is increasing evidence that it is beneficial for other conditions. EMDR is a therapy designed to focus on distressing memories, and therefore can be used for non-PTSD presentations where distressing memories are relevant. There is a small amount of case study evidence that EMDR can be used successfully with FND presentations and comorbid PTSD. This article describes two illustrative case examples of people diagnosed with FND who have distressing memories relevant to their presentation. Presenting functional symptoms included functional non-epileptic attacks and functional sensory symptoms. Psychological treatment-as-usual plus EMDR resulted in improvements for both cases and demonstrated that EMDR is a promising additional treatment option for FND presentations, appropriately selected. Recommendations regarding further research are made.
Springer Publishing Company
Copyright © 2020 EMDR International Association
Cope, S. R. (2020). EMDR as an Adjunctive Psychological Therapy for Patients With Functional Neurological Disorder: Illustrative Case Examples. Journal of EMDR Practice and Research, 14(2), 76–89. https://doi.org/10.1891/EMDR-D-20-00008
Journal of EMDR Practice and Research