Journal of Family Violence

, Volume 18, Issue 5, pp 281-293

First online:

The Imprint of Childhood Physical and Emotional Abuse: A Case Study on the Use of EMDR to Address Anxiety and a Lack of Self-Esteem

  • Jennifer P. MaxwellAffiliated withCenter for Applied Conflict Management, Kent State University Email author 

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This article examines the use of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) in helping a client address problems with persistent anxiety and a lack of self-esteem. During EMDR treatment, the client explored the dichotomous thinking that had plagued her since childhood, and correspondingly, the role of childhood physical and emotional abuse in her chronic feelings of inadequacy and anxiety. The client experienced significant improvement in her levels of anxiety and problems with self-esteem, both at the end of treatment and at 1-year follow up. Qualitative and quantitative data are utilized in this case study outlining the use of EMDR with a client diagnosed with dysthymic disorder.

trauma child abuse anxiety EMDR