This pilot study was designed to investigate the efficacy of a mindfulness based intervention for the treatment of needle phobia. The research question was whether one session of the dissociated ego state [DES] trauma release intervention would result in significant and durable release of needle phobia. It was hypothesized that the process tested in this study may reduce needle phobia by locating, identifying, and engaging with a dissociated aspect of the psyche developed from earlier trauma. Six participants who self reported fear of needles and resulting avoidance of medical assistance completed one 60-minute, individual session of a mindfulness based protocol for the release of specific phobia. After the DES intervention session, all participants but one reported reduced subjective units of distress while holding the needle against their skin: reduction of 61% post-test, 71% at 3-month follow-up, and 70% at 6-month follow up. Results at 6-month follow-up were statistically significant despite small sample size. Future investigations should involve larger sample sizes, populations drawn from various settings, more facilitators and a randomized, waitlist group.
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Smith, G. P., & Hartelius, G. (2020). Mindfulness based intervention for needle phobia: A pilot study of dissociated ego state resolution. International Journal of Transpersonal Studies, 39 (1). http://dx.doi.org/https://doi.org/10.24972/ijts.2020.39.1-2.44