In 2015, more than 1.5 million refugees arrived in Germany, many severely traumatized. Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy has been proven to be an effective treatment for acute and chronic traumatic stress symptoms. A modification for provision in group settings was developed by E. Shapiro: the EMDR Group Traumatic Episode Protocol (G-TEP). In this field study, we investigated the effectiveness of 2 sessions of EMDR G-TEP in treating traumatized refugees. After receiving a psychoeducation session, 18 Arabic-speaking refugees from Syria and Iraq who had come to Germany during the previous 5 months were assigned to treatment and/or waitlist. The Impact of Event Scale-Revised (IES-R) and Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) were administered at pre- and posttreatment. Analysis was conducted using the Mann–Whitney U test and planned Kolmogorov–Smirnov tests. Results showed significant differences between the treatment and the waitlist groups, indicating a significant decline in IES-R scores (p < .05). Although differences in BDI scores did not reach significance (p = .06), a large decline in BDI scores was seen in the treatment group. These results provide preliminary evidence that it might be effective to treat groups of traumatized refugees with EMDR G-TEP.
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Lehnung, M., Shapiro, E., Schreiber, M., & Hofmann, A. (2017). Evaluating the EMDR Group Traumatic Episode Protocol With Refugees: A Field Study. Journal of EMDR Practice and Research, 11(3), 129–138. https://doi.org/10.1891/1933-322.214.171.124
Journal of EMDR Practice and Research