Integrating EMDR in family & couple therapy


In this poster I am going to raise the question of integrating EMDR in family and couple therapy. This is a philosophical question. I actually am asking if it's possible to integrate an individual approach with a systemic one. Those scholars who dealt with this question found some common roots in the attachment period. For example, the Hendrix' IMAGO approach presume that the marital crisis has its roots in the childhood wounds. We can find other approaches that enforce this assumption. The literature that deals with integrating EMDR with couple therapy does not find differences between traumas caused by marital crisis and traumas caused by other stimuli. This brings us to the idea it is possible that EMDR will be useful in a marital crisis also. The novelty was that those therapists who mastered both skills, family therapists and EMDR therapists, started with protocols that integrate EMDR in couple therapy in the presence of both spouses. From the first beginning, Francine Shapiro mentions in her basic book on EMDR that are cases where EMDR is contra-indicated in couple therapy in the presences of both mates. Later on we found that we can classify the cases when to use EMDR in the presence of both spouses and when to use it individually. Of course, this categorization is based on clinical observation. We like to refer this question to the members of this poster presentation if they have some more insights about this






M. Sherzer

Original Work Citation

Sherzer, M. (2008, June). Integrating EMDR in family & couple therapy. Poster presented at the 9th EMDR Europe Association Conference, London, England



“Integrating EMDR in family & couple therapy,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed December 5, 2020,

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