Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing in the treatment of trauma with mild intellectual disabilities: a case study

Date20 December 2013
Published date20 December 2013
DOIhttps://doi.org/10.1108/AMHID-06-2013-0036
Pages63-71
AuthorRichard Dilly
Eye Movement Desensitisation
and Reprocessing in the treatment
of trauma with mild intellectual
disabilities: a case study
Richard Dilly
Richard Dilly is an Advanced
Healthcare Practitioner, based
at National High Secure
Learning Disability Service,
Rampton Hospital,
Nottinghamshire Healthcare
NHS Trust, Nottingham, UK.
Abstract
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore the effectiveness of Eye Movement Desensitisation and
Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy in an individual with mild intellectual disabilities currently compulsorily
detained in secure care.
Design/methodology/approach – The interventio n utilised the EMDR eight-phase protocolised
psychotherapeutic approach. Sessions utilised symbol cards to explore the impact of the client’s
experiences in relation to his thoughts, emotional feelings, physical feelings and behaviour.Drawings were
also utilised to assist the client to develop a picture of the traumatic incident. A safe place visualisation
techniquewas also utilised at the end of every session to manage any distress. The Posttraumatic Stress
Diagnostic Scale (PDS) with some minor adaptations for use with people with intellectual disabilities was
utilised as a pre- and post-measure.
Findings – The study identified reductions in symptoms in all three core clinical subgroups of the PDS:
re-experiencing, avoidance and arousal, with outcomes being maintained at one-month and six -month
follow-up. Reduction in the strength of ratings was most evident in the avoidance domain.
Originality/value – There are limited studies exploring the effectiveness of EMDR with individuals with
intellectual disabilities.
Keywords Intellectual disability, Learning disability, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprosessing,
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Secure care, Trauma
Paper type Case study
Introduction
Trauma and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
The term trauma has been used to describe both an adverse life event and someone’s
reaction to an adverse life event (Yule et al., 1999). Wide ranging examples may include; illness,
injury, accident, hospitalisation, being sectioned, being a victim of theft or crime, witnessing
crime, perpetrating crime, bereavement, the breakup of a relationship, sexual abuse, loss
of occupation, serious illness of a close relative, or moving from a long hospital stay
(Hulbert-Williams et al., 2013).
Individuals with intellectual disabilities have been found to be more likely toexperience traumatic
events, especially sexual and physical abuse (Ryan, 1994; Mansell et al., 1998; Hatton and
Emmerson, 2004; Focht-New et al., 2008). It has been suggested that the range of potentially
traumatic experiences is greater in people with intellectual disabilities compared to those with a
relatively high level of intellectual functioning (Martorell and Tsakanikos,2008). This may be as a
The author would like to
acknowledge the following people:
Catrin Morrissey, Lead
Psychologist, National High Secure
Learning Disability Service,
Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS
Trust and Irene Brackenridge,
Advanced Healthcare Practitioner,
National High Secure Learning
Disability Service, Nottinghamshire
Healthcare NHS Trust.
DOI 10.1108/AMHID-06-2013-0036 VOL. 8 NO. 1 2014, pp. 63-71, CEmerald Group Publishing Limited, ISSN 2044-1282
j
ADVANCES IN MENTAL HEALTH AND INTELLECTUAL DISABILITIES
j
PAGE 63

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT