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Martin SACK

Photo Martin SACK

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Psychologist and a Psychotherapist – Germany

SACK, Martin, M.D., associated professor and research scientist, is at the head of the division of psychotraumatology at the department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, Klinikum rechts der Isar, Technical University Munich.

2014/15 fellow at the Institute of Advanced Studies Berlin (Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin). 2000 research fellowship at the Trauma Center, Boston University Medical School (Prof. Bessel van der Kolk). 2008 EMDRIA Research Award. 2010 Hamburger Preis Persönlichkeitsstörungen. From 2008 - 2012 president of the Deutschsprachige Gesellschaft für Psychotraumatologie (DeGPT).

Research focus: Trauma related disorders, Neurobiology of PTSD and Dissociative Disorders, Resource oriented therapy and Salutogenesis, Working mechanism of EMDR, Individualized Psychotherapy.



General working mechanism of trauma-focused therapies – some conclusions from research findings on EMDR.

Starting from an overview on our own findings, the current state of research on EMDR working mechanism will be reviewed and described in three domains: (1) reduction of subjective stress and psychophysiological dearousal during treatment sessions indicating habituation and memory integration, (2) orienting responses at the begin of bilateral stimulation corresponding to the stimulation of seeking behavior as proposed by Jaak Panksepp, (3) stimulation associated activation of frontal cortical activity indicated by increased EEG indicating improved top-down control.

An integrative model of working mechanism will be proposed highlighting the importance of a dual mode of attention for trauma memory processing as a general mechanism common to all exposure based therapies.


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