Repairing failures in bonding through EMDR


Maternal-infant bonding is an intense emotional tie between mother and infant that often begins during pregnancy and continues after birth. Prolonged physical separation from one's infant or traumatic interference can sometimes impede this process, leading to a lack of bonding. Whereas many medical procedures and illnesses can cause mother and child to become separated immediately after birth and affect bonding, other causes of emotional separation may be somewhat more difficult to identify. Nevertheless, maternal trauma has been identified as one such form of emotional separation that can interfere with bonding. This article illustrates the application of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) for addressing bonding difficulties related to trauma issues. EMDR is an integrative psychotherapy that uses a standardized eight-phase approach to treatment and is a well-accepted treatment for trauma. Although more research is needed, this case suggests that EMDR may be an appropriate and efficient treatment for bonding difficulties.






Antonio Madrid
Susan Skolek
Francine Shapiro

Original Work Citation

Madrid, A., Skolek, S., & Shapiro, F. (2006, October). Repairing failures in bonding through EMDR. Clinical Case Studies, 5(4), 271-286. doi:10.1177/1534650104267403



“Repairing failures in bonding through EMDR,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed October 29, 2020,

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