Psychosis: An emerging field for EMDR research and therapy

Paul de Bont*, Ad de Jongh, David van den Berg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


It has only been in this last decade that trauma-focused treatments (TFT) have been studied in patients with psychotic disorders. Before, the paradigm stated that TFT was contraindicated in these patients because clinicians and researchers assumed the risk of exacerbation of symptoms was too high. The purpose of this article is to examine the effectiveness of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy in the treatment of psychosis. To this end, we will present a brief narrative review of the current state of research in this particular field. The results suggest that, contrary to the “no-TFT-in-psychosis” paradigm, TFTs such as EMDR therapy can successfully be used to reduce trauma-related symptoms in patients with psychosis. Moreover, there are now provisional indications that psychotic symptoms such as delusions and hallucinations can be targeted directly and indirectly using EMDR therapy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)313-324
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of EMDR Practice and Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019


  • eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy
  • psychosis
  • review
  • schizophrenia spectrum disorders
  • trauma


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