Self-Esteem Treatment in Anxiety. A randomised controlled crossover trial of EMDR versus Competitive Memory Training (COMET) in patients with anxiety disorders


Tonnie Staring

Saturday 18 june 2016

14:00 - 14:30h at Kilimanjaro

Categories: Research, Anxiety disorders

Parallel session: Research track


Next to EMDR’s merit for PTSD, it has been proposed that EMDR may be effective in treating low self-esteem (de Jongh et al., 2010). An underlying principle is that negative events leave memory tracks causing and maintaining dysfunctional core beliefs (e.g. ‘I am worthless’). EMDR may desensitize relevant mental representations that form ‘evidence’ for these beliefs. The idea is that by doing so, positive representations are no longer inhibited and self-esteem improves.

This study aimed to evaluate two self-esteem treatments that target different mechanisms: (1) Eye Movement and Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR), which aims to desensitize negative memory representations that maintain low self-esteem; and (2) Competitive Memory Training (COMET), which aims to activate positive representations for enhancing self-esteem. A Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT) was used with a crossover design. Group 1 received six sessions EMDR first and then six sessions COMET; group 2 vice versa. Assessments were made at baseline (T0), end of first treatment (T1), and end of second treatment (T2). Main outcome was self-esteem. We included 47 patients, and performed Linear Mixed Models.

The data were being analyzed when this abstract was submitted for the conference presentation. At the conference, analyses are concluded and the results and conclusions will be presented.

Learning objectives

- learn about the theoretical background of how EMDR may be appied in treating low self-esteem

- learn about the role of low self-esteem in patients with anxiety disorders

- learn about the effectiveness of EMDR for low self-esteem in anxiety patients, in comparison to COMET.

More information

  • Location(s)
  • plattegrond Kilimanjaro