A nondual approach to EMDR: Psychotherapy as satsang


Tibetan Buddhist Dzogchen, Hindu Advaita, Taoism, Kabbalism, and mystical Christianity all suggest that the fulfillment of human potential and the liberation from suffering happen when attention rests peacefully in its source, prior to thought. These traditional spiritual disciplines inform a nondual approach to psychotherapy that views form as a natural and temporary expression of a unified, omnipresent, nonlocatable, and pregnant emptiness. In time all forms--everything and everyone--dissolve back into this emptiness which is present now. Once clients begin to appreciate that they are actually not their distracting thoughts, emotions, or bodily sensations, but rather a dispassionate, observing Presence, a process of disidentification begins and peace of mind unfolds naturally. Clients learn that they have within a natural predisposition toward health and wholeness. Freedom from psychological suffering is often immediately available when clients know how to look or how to just be. Clients learn that simply being fully present now in a timeless moment of silence can reveal what is already and always free. This philosophy informs the EMDR therapeutic approach. This chapter explains the EMDR model, illustrating its use with a case study. EMDR is an integrative psychotherapeutic appproach first discovered and developed by Dr. Francine Shapiro (2001) in 1987, which is guided by an information processing model that has numerous protocols and procedures including the administration of bilateral stimulation to the client. The procedure was originally used to treat trauma, but it has now developed into a comprehensive approach used widely to ameliorate a variety of psychological symptoms and disorders including anxiety and depression, phobia, addiction and substance abuse, among others. In fact, EMDR is now used to target experiential contributors of all clinical complaints.


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Sheila Krystal

Original Work Citation

Krystal, S. (2003). A nondual approach to EMDR: Psychotherapy as satsang. In J. J. Prendergast, P. Fenner, & S. Krystal (Eds.), The sacred mirror: Nondual wisdom and psychotherapy (pp. 116-137). St. Paul, MN: Paragon House Publishers



“A nondual approach to EMDR: Psychotherapy as satsang,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed June 24, 2021, https://emdria.omeka.net/items/show/17849.

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