Stray thoughts: Affect, imagery, and memory


It has appeared me that affect plays a pivotal, and perhaps under It has appeared me that plays a pivotal, and perhaps under appreciated, role in the information processing we observe in EMDR therapy. I have found that the ability to achieve positive treatment effects is not based on the ability to retrieve images, but rather on the ability to tap into the network of dysfunctional material through the affect and connected body sensations. As I have explored in earlier Newsletters, in the Accelerated Information Processing model, the dysfunctionl information is typified by its storage in state-specific form, along with its inability to link up with more adaptive information characterized by different affect. In either case, the parallel positive or negative cognitions are merely constructions which are simply verbal manifestations of the affect. These verbalizations allow the dysfunctionally stored information to be more readily accessed which, in turn, stimulates physical sensations that can be both focal points for the client during processing, and indications of the degree of treatment success.






Francine Shapiro

Original Work Citation

Shapiro, F. (1994). Stray thoughts: Affect, imagery, and memory. EMDR Network Newsletter, 4(3), 1-3




“Stray thoughts: Affect, imagery, and memory,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed June 18, 2021,

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