The EMDR DeTUR protocol for the treatment of self-injury in a patient with severe personality disorder: a case report

Phyllis Annesley (Department of Clinical and Forensic Psychology, National Women’s Service and National High Secure Learning Disability Service, Rampton Hospital, Retford, UK)
Adedayo Alabi (North Bay Regional Health Centre, North Bay, Canada)
Laura Longdon (Department of Clinical and Forensic Psychology, National Women’s Service, Rampton Hospital, Retford, UK)

Journal of Criminological Research, Policy and Practice

ISSN: 2056-3841

Publication date: 28 February 2019

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe the Eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR) treatment of an adult female patient detained within a high secure hospital with complex mental health difficulties, including complex trauma, factitious disorder, self-injury and a history of offending. The EMDR treatment addressed the patient’s urges to engage in severe and sometimes life-threatening self-injury, a primary motive of which was to access physical healthcare interventions within a general hospital. The paper describes the wide-ranging benefits of the treatment and incorporates feedback from the patient and clinicians within her multi-disciplinary team (MDT).

Design/methodology/approach

Four triggers for self-injury were processed during the therapy using the DeTUR Protocol (Popky, 2005, 2009) and the Constant Installation of Present Orientation and Safety (CIPOS, Knipe, 2009a) method. In total, 18 one hour therapy sessions were delivered plus three follow-up sessions to continue to offer support and complete the post-treatment evaluation.

Findings

The level of urge for each trigger was reduced to 0 which the patient defined as “no urge to self-injure”. Benefits went well beyond self-injury with reported positive impacts on mood, thinking, sleep, concentration, memory and experience of flashbacks.

Practical implications

This case report demonstrates that the EMDR DeTUR Protocol together with the CIPOS method can be extremely valuable in the treatment of patients who self-injure.

Originality/value

The case report offers an important contribution to an area that requires much further research.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to express their deep gratitude to Emily for her active involvement with the evaluation and for giving her consent for the case report to be written up for publication. They would also like to thank their colleagues for their generous contributions to the case report.

Citation

Annesley, P., Alabi, A. and Longdon, L. (2019), "The EMDR DeTUR protocol for the treatment of self-injury in a patient with severe personality disorder: a case report", Journal of Criminological Research, Policy and Practice, Vol. 5 No. 1, pp. 27-38. https://doi.org/10.1108/JCRPP-11-2018-0034

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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