Treating dissociation in the spectrum of personality disorders


The use of ego-state interweaves and/or extensive ego-state therapy (utilized in the preparation phase) and integrated into EMDR targeting (phases 3-7), in the treatment of personality disorders, has not received a great deal of attention at conference presentations or in the published media. This has led to minimal or nonresponsiveness in the EMDR treatment of personality disorders, since aspects of dissociation in these clients have not been addressed. In the past ten years, renown neuroscientists, such as Eric Kandel, Joseph LeDoux, Michael Gazzaniga and V.S. Ramachandran, in response to empirical findings in the fields of memory, neuromodularity, split-brain research and information processing, have begun to suggest that the “self” may very well be a collection of memories that are structured in a fragmented (neuromodular) multiplicity that is developmentally inherent. Ramachandran, LeDoux and Gazzaniga have, each, stated, explicitly, that the sense of a “cohesive and monolithic” self is an “illusion” created by areas in the left cerebral hemisphere. Accordingly, just as the EMDR standard protocol was adapted for recent traumatic events (in response to acute memory fragmentation), so must it be modified for inherent memory and personality fragmentation, by the use of extensive ego-state work (preparation) and ego-state-specific EMDR targeting (phases 3-7). The implementation of these techniques has shown a remarkable advance in the treatment of personality disorders, which had, previously, been rather impervious to EMDR treatment.






Uri Bergmann

Original Work Citation

Bergmann, U. (2008, June). Treating dissociation in the spectrum of personality disorders. Presentation at the 9th EMDR Europe Association Conference, London, England



“Treating dissociation in the spectrum of personality disorders,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed September 25, 2020,

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