EMDR and treatment for angry and violent behaviors


Much can be gained as the EMDR clinician develops sharper awareness of the dynamics of angry and violent “acting out” behavior. An AIP informed approach can aid in case formulation with these issues and lead to accelerated client gain. The cyclical nature of violence will be depicted, as well as other common characteristics in a spectrum of hostile behaviors, including perpetrator state and trait issues. The presentation will demonstrate ways in which EMDR processing can work in conjunction with widely used cognitive-behavioral interventions and, with careful target selection, offer opportunities for desensitization of the trauma that often drives them. Discussion will highlight advantages of an EMDR approach in minimizing problematic transferential issues with “resistant” clients. Theory and practice will be illuminated by a case presentation and clinical anecdotes. Graphic, user-friendly therapeutic tools will be offered. Implications for the use of this model in treating other cyclical “acting out” behaviors will be explored.






Mark Nickerson

Original Work Citation

Nickerson, M. (2007, September). EMDR and treatment for angry and violent behaviors. Presentation at the 12th EMDR International Association Conference, Dallas, TX




“EMDR and treatment for angry and violent behaviors,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed May 13, 2021, https://emdria.omeka.net/items/show/18370.

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