Emergency intervention in art therapy with EMDR and somatic experiencing


The following presentation shows a model, which was built and applied with many different populations, children, aged people and adults, during the Lebanon War 2006 and after it. The purpose was prevention of PTSD and overcoming the difficult and painful period. Originally it was aimed at art therapists, psychologists, and other mental health staff – Jews and Arabs. They work with already traumatized children and youth in the shelled north of Israel, have to contain much pain and to be strong for others. They were close to break down, or already broke down. The same model served the presenter later in many cases of crisis, with groups and individuals. Especially it was adapted with some much dissociated clients, giving voice (visual representation) to the different sub – personalities. The model aims for (1) bridging between state of freezing or collapsing and functioning; (2) providing tools for self regulation and helping others to self regulate; and (3) strengthening the felt sense of well-being connected to resources within the person and preventing PTSD. The methods used are: (1) evaluation of body-sensation, feeling and thoughts with SUDS (Subjective Units of Disturbance Scale); (2) drawing a picture of resource; installation of resource; (3) drawing a deficiency picture, a picture which represents the disturbing part in one’s present life; (4) EM (eye movements) between both pictures, through working in couples - bilateral stimulation; (5) re-evaluation of body – sensation, feeling and thought with SUDS. Learning objectives: 1. To demonstrate the impact of art in developing inner boundaries towards integration of ego states. 2. To legitimize extreme emotions and to understand that they are normal defenses to trauma. 3. To acquire tools for coping with trauma in the present.






Judith Siano

Original Work Citation

Siano, J. (2008, April). Emergency intervention in art therapy with EMDR and somatic experiencing. Presentation at the 1st Bi-annual International European Society for Trauma and Dissociation Conference, Amsterdam, The Netherlands



“Emergency intervention in art therapy with EMDR and somatic experiencing,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed October 30, 2020, https://emdria.omeka.net/items/show/19512.

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