The CIPOS method -- procedures to therapeutically reduce dissociative processes while preserving emotional safety
It is well documented (Maxfield and Hyer, 2002) that the 8-phase EMDR model is highly effective for clients who are troubled by disturbing memories. However, clients who are dissociative often have great difficulty in maintaining present orientation and the "dual attention" that is a necessary condition for processing. Dissociative clients are highly vulnerable, during the EMDR Preparation, Assessment and Dissociation Phases, to becoming disoriented and overwhelmed by the surprising intrusion of dissociated parts that bring intensely disturbing images and other information. Since, with these clients, there is a greater risk of non-therapeutic dissociative abreaction, it is very important to counter this risk with an increased emphasis on safety and containment of affect. In this presentation, I will describe two procedures that can be helpful in making the healing power of EMDR available to clients who have this kind of vulnerability. One is the BHS (Back of the Head Scale), a procedure that can be useful in assessing a client’s moment-to-moment level of dissociation during a traumafocused EMDR session. The other is the CIPOS (Constant Installation of Positive Orientation and Safety) procedure, which is a method of slowing down processing, and carefully containing and controlling the emergence of potentially overwhelming post-traumatic material. These methods will be illustrated with video segments of a therapy session.
Original Work Citation
Knipe, J. (2008, June). The CIPOS method -- procedures to therapeutically reduce dissociative processes while preserving emotional safety. Presentation at the 9th EMDR Europe Association Conference, London, England
“The CIPOS method -- procedures to therapeutically reduce dissociative processes while preserving emotional safety,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed October 21, 2021, https://emdria.omeka.net/items/show/18245.