Treating implicit trauma: a quasiexperimental study comparing the EMDR Therapy Standard Protocol with a ‘Blind 2 Therapist’ version within a trauma capacity building project in Northern Iraq

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


  • Derek Farrell
  • Matt Kiernan
  • Ade de Jongh
  • Paul William Miller
  • Peter Bumke
  • Salah Ahmad
  • Lorraine Knibbs
  • Cordula Mathess
  • Paul Keenan
  • Helga Matthess

External departments

  • University of Worcester
  • Bath Spa University
  • University of Amsterdam
  • Ulster University


Original languageEnglish
Article number3
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of International Humanitarian Action
Issue number1
Early online date27 Apr 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 27 Apr 2020
Publication type

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Psychological trauma is a silent epidemic which presents as a global public health issue, often in the form of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy is an empirically supported treatment intervention for PTSD and has been used as part of trauma-capacity building, particularly in lowand middle-income countries (LMIC). For some survivor’s, their trauma experiences cannot be spoken of: they may be alluded to, suggested and though not directly expressed. There are several factors as to why these implicit trauma experiences are ‘unspoken’, for example, when the trauma involves a deep-rooted sense of shame or guilt, a distorted sense of over-responsibility or when to speak of the trauma engenders fear of retribution, reprisal and consequence. This paper will explore the effectiveness of using two protocol variations of EMDR Therapy—standard versus a ‘Blind 2 Therapist’ protocol version as part of a quasi-experimental study which took place in Northern Iraq. The study contains two projects and subsequently tested several hypotheses regarding safety, effectiveness, efficiency and relevance of the ‘Blind 2 Therapist’ protocol within EMDR Therapy. Results indicated support for the B2T protocol intervention with various trauma populations including Yezidi survivors of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)—also known as Daesh.

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