Bilateral stimulation (BLS) is of significant importance to eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy. Eye movements seem to be the most effective form of BLS in EMDR. A brief summary of the cultural applicability of EMDR is provided, and research which showed the value of incorporating religion and/or spirituality into psychotherapy is highlighted. Islamic Sufism, in common with other traditional religions, has long been known to have a psychotherapeutic perspective and has been used over time to help people to overcome trauma and stress. This article argues that the ritual movements associated with the Sufi Dhikr may involve a form of BLS and that this might underline some of the therapeutic effectiveness of Dhikr and Sufism. The authors recommend investigating if the Sufi Dhikr element could be incorporated into a modified EMDR protocol. We anticipate that this would give EMDR an even wider and more popular acceptance in the Middle East and the Muslim world.
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Copyright © 2015 EMDR International Association
Abdul-Hamid, W. K., & Hughes, J. H. (2015). Integration of Religion and Spirituality Into Trauma Psychotherapy: An Example in Suism? Journal of EMDR Practice and Research, 9(3), 150-156. https://doi.org/10.1891/1933-322.214.171.124
Journal of EMDR Practice and Research