Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Treatment of Internalized Shame

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Thirteen subjects were administered the Internalized Shame Scale (ISS) before and after EMDR therapy to determine whether Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) significantly reduced internalized shame and increased self-esteem as measured by the ISS. While the study did not control for alternative treatment effects, age, diagnosis, SES, or ethnicity of subjects; statistical analysis indicated a significant decrease in internalized shame subscale scores and a significant increase in self-esteem subtest scores following treatment with EMDR. These results support the hypothesis that EMDR is an effective treatment for internalized shame, even when shame is not the identified target of treatment. These preliminary findings suggest that future research is warranted to explore the efficacy of EMDR in the treatment of internalized shame.

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