Combining EMDR and schema-focused therapy: The whole may be greater than the sum of the parts



Emotional processing occurs through specific circuitry and structures in the brain. Unfortunately, much of clinical psychology has neither understood nor sufficiently integrated the treatment implications of this area of research. However, some practitioners have recognized the need for more integrative models of psychotherapy. Two of the best models are Young's Schema-Focused Therapy (SFT) and Shapiro's Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). Although these two approaches arose from different clinical experiences and theoretical backgrounds, they are similar in that they recognize the importance of all the ways in which people process information -- affectively, physiologically, through the senses, and cognitively. Each model can be tremendously beneficial to clinicians and their clients. Combining aspects of each often yields better results than using either one alone. Thus, this chapter first includes a description of Young's model and then an illustration of the way EMDR clinicians can enhance SFT by using the powerful information-processing aspects of EMDR. Last is a brief discussion of the ways SFT can also be valuable to EMDR clinicians.


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Jeffrey Young
William M. Zangwill
Wendy E. Behary



“Combining EMDR and schema-focused therapy: The whole may be greater than the sum of the parts,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed July 26, 2021,

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