Our EMDRIA conference submission for Aug., 2023 was rejected. I’m sharing the pilot data that we plan to submit for publication–we are also including this in an upcoming HHRF grant.
Single Case Study: State Shifting and Resourcing with a Mustang named Roxanne
This single case study considers resourcing self-care and state shifting to a sense of calm with a mustang named Roxanne, using the EquiLateral™ approach to equine-assisted EMDR. Equine-Assisted EMDR (E-A EMDR) integrates Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP). There is a paucity of research on equine-assisted EMDR and this single case study comprises innovative research in this area. The researchers in the single case study, involving an N of 1, trial were trained in 2021 in the EquiLateral™ approach to equine-assisted EMDR. Our aim was to measure pre and post Heart Rate (HR) in relation to 2 resourcing interventions from our EquiLateral™ training. Our volunteer participant was a 56-year-old frontline worker who experienced symptoms of PTSD from a recent traumatic brain injury. An BAAB design (intervention-baseline, baseline-intervention) was used in this single case study: session 1. Equine-Assisted EMDR resourcing session with an equine specialist and mental health professional; session 2. Equine Assisted Psychotherapy with a mental health professional; session 3. Equine Assisted Psychotherapy with a mental health professional; and session 4. Equine-Assisted EMDR Calm/Safe Place intervention with an equine specialist and mental health professional. What resulted from this single case study was a 10-point reduction in HR (most positive change) with the first intervention re: resourcing self-care. The second intervention noted a 5-point reduction in HR as the Equine-Assisted EMDR Calm/Safe Place, that became a session on state shifting disorientation to a sense of calm for both the mustang and participant. The findings support a method of capacity building through Equine-Assisted EMDR with respect to EMDR Phase 2: Preparation and Stabilization as well as positive resourcing. The limitations of this study consider a focus on feasibility and HR. Future research in Equine-Assisted EMDR is needed to explore the efficacy of this approach with the 8 phases of EMDR treatment.
Jenkins, S. (2021). EquiLateral: The equine assisted-EMDR protocol. (2nd ed.). Dragonfly International Counseling, LLC.
We conducted a case-study in a 56-year individual presenting with traumatic symptoms and a history of head trauma using the EquiLateral™ (i.e., EMDR-HU) approach. Sessions were described as 1) EMDR-HU resourcing session with an equine specialist and mental health professional; 2) Standard EAP with a mental health professional; 3) Standard EAP with a mental health professional; 4) EMDR-HU Calm/Safe Place intervention with an equine specialist and mental health professional. Session 1 resulted in a decrease of 10 points in overall HR. Session 2 was associated with a 5-point reduction in HR. A physical response was noted for both EAP and EMDR-HU in this case study, which is the first of its kind to establish EMDR-HU as a comparison to standard EAP.