Sequence matters: Combining Prolonged Exposure and EMDR therapy for PTSD
Agnes van Minnen, Eline M. Voorendonk, Linda Rozendaal, Ad de Jongh
Objective: Investigating the influence of the sequence in which two evidence-based trauma-focused treatments are offered to PTSD-patients.
Methods: PTSD-patients were treated using an intensive eight-day treatment program, combining Prolonged Exposure (PE) and EMDR therapy. Forty-four patients received a PE session in the morning and an EMDR session in the afternoon, while 62 patients received the reversed sequence (EMDR followed by PE). Outcome measures were PTSD symptom severity and subjective experiences.
Results: Patients who received PE first and EMDR second showed a significantly greater reduction in PTSD symptoms. Patients preferred this sequence and valued the treatment sessions as significantly more helpful compared to patients in the EMDR-first condition.
Received 29 January 2020, Revised 20 April 2020, Accepted 20 April 2020, Available online 16 May 2020.