Treating dissociation in the spectrum of personality disorders


The integration of EMDR with Ego State Therapy will be presented as a comprehensive approach to treatment of the wide spectrum of personality disorders. These diagnostic categories include individuals manifesting character pathology, borderline personalities, antisocial and sociopathic tendencies as well as addictive behaviors. These clients have often been seen as poor candidates for EMDR or even nonresponders. They are often mandated for treatment or come at the behest of others. Their histories often include early repeated experiences of abuse, deprivation, abandonment, and parental coldness. The hallmarks of personality disorders are rigid, intractable defenses, difficulty relating and empathizing with others, as well as acting out behavior. Historically, the treatment of personality disorders has been described as the symptoms of personality disorders be viewed as aspects of dissociation and will examine the applications of ego state concepts and techniques to all phases of the EMDR protocol in order to facilitate the treatment of these clients. Central to this approach is the conceptualization of self and object rcpresentations, self-objects or schemas as ego-states. Discussion will include how to use a developmental approach to assessment and will review the identification, mapping, and accessing of ego-states as well as how to promote ego-state-specific EMDR targets, facilitating the enhancement of EMDR processing.






Uri Bergmann

Original Work Citation

Bergmann, U. (2006, September). Treating dissociation in the spectrum of personality disorders. Presentation at the 11th EMDR International Association Conference, Philadelphia, PA



“Treating dissociation in the spectrum of personality disorders,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed June 16, 2021,

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