EMDR in the treatment of survivors of torture


This presentation seeks to address some of the challenges of using EMDR cross-culturally with highly traumatised clients who have been the victims of physical and/or psychological torture. The presentation will review characteristics of torture and how the helplessness experienced by victims physically and psychologically can help the therapist to case conceptualization and encourage adaptive learning with interweaves to assist the processing allowing adaptive linkage being made with dysfunctional memory storage. EMDR is very effective where trauma survivors present with somatisation, dissociation and frozen states but desensitization and reprocessing can only be embarked upon after adequate stabilization in the Preparation Phase. Methods of stabilization (including somatic stabilization) will be covered and thereafter the basic EMDR protocol implemented with the client focusing on damage to the self and the spirit.






Sandi Richman

Original Work Citation

Richman, S. (2009, March). EMDR in the treatment of survivors of torture. Symposium conducted at the 7th EMDR Association UK & Ireland Annual Conference, Manchester, UK



“EMDR in the treatment of survivors of torture,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed October 29, 2020, https://emdria.omeka.net/items/show/18837.

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