The results of preliminary research investigating the application of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) treatment in panic disorder and panic disorder with agoraphobia suggests that reprocessing of past traumas produces significant reduction of anxiety and consequently, remission from panic attacks and avoidance behavior. This article describes the case study of a 30-year-old working professional where EMDR treatment, used to target early childhood traumas, led to reduction in symptoms of panic disorder with agoraphobia. Panic attacks diminished after 17 sessions of EMDR treatment, which followed Leeds’s treatment model. Treatment gains were maintained 5 years after termination. The study shows the value of solid preparation work, and of addressing the current triggers and recent events, before targeting historical traumas. EMDR worked as a first-line treatment to resolving the roots of the panic attacks, suggesting that the resolution of traumatic childhood memories can make a significant difference to current symptoms of panic disorder with agoraphobia.
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Copyright © 2016 EMDR International Association
Bhagwagar, H. (2016). EMDR in the Treatment of Panic Disorder With Agoraphobia: A Case Description. Journal of EMDR Practice and Research, 10(4), 256–274. https://doi.org/10.1891/1933-3184.108.40.2066
Journal of EMDR Practice and Research