The right side: Therapy from the right side of the brain: A role for EMDR with imaginal nurturing in the treatment of early neglect
This paper proposes that early deficits in adult clients with insecure-attachment patterns can be addressed directly through a therapeutic component of imaginal nurturing with EMDR. These clients may exhibit little sense of self, low self-esteem, a sense of alienation, poor affect tolerance, inability to regulate emotions, inability to empathize, and impaired interpersonal relationships. Traditionally, the burden of the client's attachment deficits is left to be resolved through the therapeutic relationship itself. In this paper, a three-pronged approach to therapy is suggested: affect tolerance and emotion regulation skills training, imaginal nurturing, and trauma reprocessing, all within the context of a validating and caring therapeutic relationship. The focus of this paper is imaginal nurturing, the goals of which include developing an attachment between the adult, and infant and child selves to create a new relationship to self in the present. Two forms of imaginal nurturing are presented: Core Imaginal Nurturing, freestanding imaginal work in which the client experiences both providing and receiving nurturance, and Adjunctive Imaginal Nurturing which is incorporated into trauma reprocessing. A conceptual basis for this work is provided, and examples are given showing its use, benefits, and problems that can arise.
Original Work Citation
Steele, A. (2001). The right side: Therapy from the right side of the brain: A role for EMDR with imaginal nurturing in the treatment of early neglect. Unpublished
“The right side: Therapy from the right side of the brain: A role for EMDR with imaginal nurturing in the treatment of early neglect,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed August 14, 2020, https://emdria.omeka.net/items/show/17052.