A randomized controlled dismantling study of Visual Schema Displacement Therapy (VSDT) vs an abbreviated EMDR protocol vs a non-active control condition in individuals with disturbing memories

Suzy J M A Matthijssen, Thomas C Brouwers, Marcel A van den Hout, Irene G Klugkist, Ad de Jongh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Background: Visual Schema Displacement Therapy (VSDT) is a novel therapy for the treatment of fears and trauma-related mental health problems including PTSD. VSDT proved to be effective in reducing emotionality of aversive memories in healthy individuals in two previous randomized controlled trials and outperformed both a non-active control condition (CC) and an abbreviated version of EMDR therapy, a well-established first-line treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder. 

Objectives: In an effort to enhance the understanding concerning the efficacy of VSDT, and to determine its active components, a dismantling study was conducted in individuals with disturbing memories in which the effects of VSDT were tested against EMDR therapy, a non-active CC and three different VSDT-protocols, each excluding or altering a hypothesized active component. 

Method : Participants ( = 144) were asked to recall an emotional aversive event and were randomly assigned to one of these six interventions, each lasting 8 minutes. Emotional disturbance and vividness of participants' memories were rated before and after the intervention and at one and four-week follow-up.

Results: Replicatory Bayesian analyses supported hypotheses in which VSDT was superior to the CC and the EMDR condition in reducing emotionality, both directly after the intervention and at one week follow-up. However, at four-week follow-up, VSDT proved equal to EMDR while both treatments were superior to the CC. Concerning vividness the data also showed support for hypotheses predicting VSDT being equal to EMDR and both being superior to the CC in vividness reduction. Further analyses specifying differences between the abbreviated VSDT protocols detected no differences between these conditions.

Conclusion: It remains unclear how VSDT yields its positive effects. Because VSDT appears to be unique and effective in decreasing emotionality of aversive memories, replication of the results in clinical samples is needed. 
Original languageEnglish
Article number1883924
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Journal of Psychotraumatology
Volume12
Issue number1
Early online date09 Apr 2021
DOIs
Publication statusEarly online date - 09 Apr 2021

Keywords

  • EMDR
  • PTSD
  • VSDT
  • emotional memories
  • working mechanisms

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'A randomized controlled dismantling study of Visual Schema Displacement Therapy (VSDT) vs an abbreviated EMDR protocol vs a non-active control condition in individuals with disturbing memories'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this