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Utilization of Heart Rate Variability and ECEM (Eye Closure Eye Movements) in Hypnotic Treatment of Anxiety and Panic Disorders
George P. Glaser. MSW, DABH; Harriet E. Hollander, PhD
This workshop will explore two innovative approaches to management of anxiety and panic disorders. ECEM
(Eye Closure, Eye Movements) is an intervention that utilizes self-generated eye movements, adapted from
EMDR into hypnotic therapy to treat symptoms of anxiety, PTSD, and panic disorders. The presentation will
describe the origin of ECEM in hypnotic therapy and EMDR as a way to retain advantages of each modality and
avoid the disadvantages. The use of ECEM will be presented didactically and through demonstration.
Self-generated management of anxiety utilizing breathing interventions and a computer assisted program for
ongoing measurement of heart rate variability will be demonstrated. Theory, demonstrations, and hands-on
experience will be offered. We think of this workshop as an applied seminar with real-time psychophysiological
monitoring. The two interventions will be integrated in demonstrations that illustrate how the use of ECEM can
be tracked using heart rate variability as a measure of ongoing changes in therapeutic processing.
ECEM embeds eye movements into hypnotic therapy. This integration enables the therapist to closely pace
and lead changes in client responses to processing of anxiety based imagery. Using ECEM as a single integrated
treatment intervention, the client can experience the strong effects of bilateral stimulation on processing of
anxiety based imagery and the ego-strengthening effects of a wide range of safety-based hypnotic interventions.
Bi-lateral stimulation using eye movements within hypnotic therapy can also be used to install or preserve
positive responses to hypnotic processing.
Heart Rate Variability (HRV) is a central physiological process easily measured by the use of standard and
inexpensive office computer equipment and a simple-to-use software package. It is believed by the presenters
that such measurement provides a more direct look into the psycho-physiological functioning of the patient.
Such a window offers real-time access to the patient's physiology for use with any number of interventions,
including hypnotically oriented ECEM techniques, and hypnosis in a more general sense.
At the conclusion of this session, participants should be able to…
- Describe the theory behind two novel interventions for working with anxiety disorders;
- Utilize ECEM into hypnotic therapy for the treatment of anxiety, PTSD, and panic
- Identify three aspects of heart rate variability monitoring as a method of assessing
hypnotic responsiveness to anxiety management.