Decreased Emotional Dysregulation Following Multi-Modal Motion-Assisted Memory Desensitization and Reconsolidation Therapy (3MDR) : Identifying Possible Driving Factors in Remediation of Treatment-Resistant PTSD

Abstract: Multi-modal motion-assisted memory desensitization and reconsolidation therapy (3MDR), an interactive, virtual reality-assisted, exposure-based intervention for PTSD, has shown promising results for treatment-resistant posttraumatic stress disorder (TR-PTSD) among military members (MMs) and veterans in randomized controlled trials (RCT).


Previous research has suggested that emotional regulation (ER) and emotional dysregulation (ED) may be factors which are correlated with symptom severity and maintenance of TR-PTSD. This embedded mixed-methods pilot study (n = 9) sought to explore the impact of 3MDR on ER and ED of MMs and veterans. Difficulties in Emotional Regulation Scale (DERS-18) data were collected at baseline, prior to each session, and at one week, one month, and three months postintervention and analyzed. Qualitative data collected from sessions, debriefs, and follow-up interviews were transcribed and descriptively analyzed. 


Results demonstrated statistically significant decreases in DERS-18 scores from preintervention to postintervention at each timepoint. Qualitatively, participants perceived improvements in ER within specified DERS-18 domains. We describe how 3MDR’s unique and novel approach addresses ED through cognitive–motor stimulation, narration, divergent thinking, reappraisal of aversive stimuli, dual-task processing, and reconsolidation of traumatic memories. More studies are needed to better understand the underlying neurobiological mechanisms by which 3MDR addresses ER and PTSD.

Emily Tang, Chelsea Jones, Lorraine Smith-MacDonald, Matthew R. G. Brown, Eric H. G. J. M. Vermetten and Suzette Brémault-Phillips | 2021
In: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health ; ISSN: 1661-7827 | 18 | 22 | november | 12243
3MDR (Military Motion Memory Desensitization and Reprocessing) (en), Emotional Regulation, Mental health, Military Personnel, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Psychotrauma, PTSD (en), Treatment, Treatment Effectiveness, Veterans
Affiliation author(s):