Working under the floorboards: Resetting affective circuits in preparation for clearing very early trauma with EMDR
EMDR is known for its use in treatment of PTSD and, when the appropriate protocol is used, dissociative disorders. The standard protocol of EMDR is limited when applied to repairing early trauma because 1) it relies upon targeting an explicit memory but early trauma is stored in implicit memory, and 2) when early trauma is accessed it can be overwhelming to clients, because early experience is accessed with the limited containment, safety and affect regulation capacity of the child´s age at the time of trauma. Katie O´Shea developed a four step protocol for the safe treatment of early trauma using EMDR, and it is based upon an ego state approach (O´Shea & Paulsen, 2007). The protocol is based upon the standard EMDR protocol with critical modifications. There are three preparation steps: 1) containment, 2) safe state, and 3) resetting affective circuits. Step three is hypothesized to clear the affective circuits that conduct emotional information processing. The fourth step corresponds to Phases III and IV in the EMDR standard protocol. That fourth step articulates the target and desensitizes it, but the latter is conducted by time frame rather than by explicit memory.
Original Work Citation
Paulsen, S. (2009, November). Working under the floorboards: Resetting affective circuits in preparation for clearing very early trauma with EMDR. Presentation at the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation 26th Annual International Conference, Washington, DC. doi:10.1037/e608902012-029
“Working under the floorboards: Resetting affective circuits in preparation for clearing very early trauma with EMDR,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed November 26, 2020, https://emdria.omeka.net/items/show/19040.