Repairing maternal-infant bonding failures



This chapter presents an inside view of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) narrated by a client who was requested to tell her story to educate clinicians and clients so that others might be healed. The client's vivid account of her emotional history, along with the description of various memories targeted in treatment and the results of her processing sessions, provide an illustration of the therapy. Her emotional upheaval and adult relationships are a reflection of the cauldron of abuse, deceit, and chaos intrinsic to her family of origin. As indicated by the Adaptive Information Processing model, her symptoms were largely the result of the earlier negative experiences from childhood that were dysfunctionally stored in her brain. These memories had inherent within them the emotions and perspectives that generated her negative sense of self and inability to function happily in the world. The processing of the memories of these early events resulted in accelerated learning and a concomitant transmutation of her personal identity and self-efficacy. An addendum to the case by Kaslow elucidates the family systems perspective.


Book Section




Antonio Madrid
Susan Skolek
Francine Shapiro

Original Work Citation

Madrid, A., Skolek, S., & Shapiro, F. (2007). Repairing maternal-infant bonding failures. In F. Shapiro, F. W. Kaslow, & L. Maxfield (Eds.), Handbook of EMDR and family therapy processes (pp. 131-145). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons Inc



“Repairing maternal-infant bonding failures,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed January 24, 2022,

Output Formats