Comparing Trauma Treatments: Similarities and Differences Between Somatic Experiencing and Eye Movement and Desensitization and Reprocessing
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This document reports on a project that analyzes similarities and differences between 2 approaches to trauma therapy, namely somatic experiencing (SE) and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR). Primary resources that describe the procedures for treatment are used. This is supplemented by interviews with practitioners of each approach. The results of the study find that each approach has its own distinctive features while sharing significant similarities. For instance, whereas EMDR has a very standardized 8-step protocol that uses bilateral stimulation, SE has a more fluid format with a primary focus on tracking body sensations. Similarities include the use of psychoeducation, a focus on the present while dealing with the past and working to integrate sensations, images and cognitions.