Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing in Counseling a Male Couple

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Journal of EMDR Practice and Research

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This practice-based article discusses the use of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) in counseling “Paul” and “Eddie” (aliases), a couple for 4 years who presented with what they identified as “communication problems.” Through the use of psychosocial assessments of the men' s personal histories, it was determined that Paul' s experience of feeling controlled and Eddie' s struggles to believe that he mattered in the relationship were linked to traumatic memories in each man' s childhood that related to his sexual identity development. EMDR was used to target the men' s traumatic memories, alternating between Paul and Eddie. Following each EMDR treatment series, the work was integrated by talking through how the reprocessed material integrated into the overall couple experience, leading to both men' s increased satisfaction in the relationship.