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PTSD Research Project

Preliminary Trial for Research Study of IEMT Application to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Study Supervisors: Alan Johnson RGN/RMN & Carl Jackson, UK.

IEMT proposes the existence of “The Lynchpin” in PTSD flashback phenomena. “The Lynchpin” is a central aspect of behaviour in the patient's personality that prior to the trauma was rarely, if ever, a problem. The effect of the trauma is to reframe this aspect of personality behaviour as being causative in the traumatic experience.

The purpose of this study is to test for efficacy of Integral Eye Movement Therapy (IEMT) in the treatment of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The rationale for the study is that eye movement therapy has demonstrated efficacy in reducing the emotional impact of memories and emotionally charged memories are a key feature in the symptoms of PTSD.

For the preliminary trials all clients will be self referring and written consent will be obtained for the trial.  Practitioners can participate on an approved named basis only and will be supervised in their practice by an approved IEMT trainer.

A total of 25 clients will be treated with IEMT for the completion of the trial.

Simple criteria for clients:

  • All clients will be of at least 18 years of age and will have a history of persistent PTSD symptoms lasting greater than 5 years.
  • All clients will have been previously and/or currently assessed, diagnosed and treated by a professional orthodox medical practitioner.
  • Clients will not have received IEMT treatment or training previously.
  • Clients suffering from a psychotic psychiatric illness or other organic mental impairment may not be used for the study.
  • At no point during the trial is the client to change their medication or treatment unless specifically approved to do so by their treating physician.

IEMT Practitioners participating in the study must hold a current IEMT Practitioner certificate and receive approval for participation from The Association for IEMT Practitioners.

Trial Procedure

Part 1. Introduction.

  1. Obtain written consent (see consent form)
  2. Obtain client history (see history form – this may be obtained prior to the meeting)
  3. Complete client symptom assessment (see assessment form)
  4. Explain the nature of IEMT and the purpose of the study.
  5. Request and obtain verbal permission to continue.
  6. Explain the nature of “The Lynchpin” in PTSD.
  7. Show elicitation video (link here).

Part 2. IEMT Process.

  1. Without taking the client through the elicitation process, ask if client is able to identify their own lynchpin (if there is more than one, start with most prominent).
    Note: If the client is not able to identify the lynch pin, then they are no longer required for the purposes of the study. In which case, the practitioner is to explain to the client that they are no required any further and is to use their own judgement as to whether to continue with a routine PTSD treatment process, or to refer the client on or simply discontinue.

  2. Instruct client to hold on to the memory of this lynchpin for as long as they can whilst you guide their eyes through the different access points. Observe for axis deviations, and discontinue eye movements when either there are no further axis deviations or 40 seconds time limit is reached, whichever is soonest.
  3. Allow client to reorientate, if vivid imagery is still being experienced as a result of the above process, instruct client to continue to think on this imagery as you repeat the eye movements as above.
  4. In the event of abreaction or dramatic emotional release, allow for up to 20 minutes for client to reorientate before re-calibrating.  If necessary, repeat step 3.

Part 3. Follow Up Assessment.

Follow up assessments are carried out:
20 minutes after the session is concluded
2 days after the session
2 weeks after the session
1, 3 and 6 months after the session

Any negative outcomes must be reported to a study supervisor without hesitation as soon as they are reported.

Note:

Practitioners should record details of the session, noting any challenges to any of “The Five Patterns of Chronicity” that may arise during the session.

Where possible, the sessions should be audio recorded and the recording kept strictly according to data protection requirements until the conclusion of the study.