Effective EMDR targeting with couples


The workshop begins with a discussion of which clients this technique is appropriate for. The technique is not recommended for couples in which either or both partners do not have adequate affect tolerance, observing ego, or trust of each other's integrety. Other risk factors for using EMDR in couples therapy that have been highlighted in other presentations and literature will be briefly reviewed. Participants will learn to differentiate between clients' statements that represent present experience and those that represent concepts of present experience or reporting of past experiences. Participants will be taught specific interventions which they will practice in guided exercise that will enable them to facilitate both individuals and couples to stay in their present experience during EMDR targeting. Irrational emotional responses to daily interactions and conflicts are often the result of unresolved issues resulting from underlying feeder memories. Participants will learn a simple method for identifying underlying issues of each individual partner related to a given conflict. The final and most substantial portion of this presentation will be focused on using a refined "affect bridge" technique to identify the feeder memories associated with those issues so that they can be targeted with the standard EMDR protocol. Specific methods will be taught to overcome clients' resistance and difficulties with accessing memories; these methods include use of accessing cues (re: Neurolinguistic Programming) and developing eidetics (re: Eidetic Psychotherapy) These methods will be illustrated using a case transcript, guided participant experiential exercise, and live demonstration.






Philip Manfield

Original Work Citation

Manfield, P. (2006, September). Effective EMDR targeting with couples. Presentation at the 11th EMDR International Association Conference, Philadelphia, PA



“Effective EMDR targeting with couples,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed October 23, 2020, https://emdria.omeka.net/items/show/15763.

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