EMDR in trauma-work with a patient with DID


EMDR is a powerfull technique for helping people overcoming their trauma’s. However, most of the clinical practice as well as the research has been focussed on type 1 trauma and simple PTSD. Gradually the field is expanding to complex early and chronic traumatization and dissociative problems. In this workshop I will share our experiences in this challenging field. I will start with a short introduction to EMDR, to structural dissociation and to the treatment of DID. Then I will present the case of an older woman with DID, who was treated in our residential psychotherapeutic setting. Central in this workshop is the very interesting (and moving) video-demonstration of EMDR with this DID-patient during a period of trauma-work. After reporting on the process and outcome of this therapy, the conclusion will be that EMDR can be effective for dissociative patients suffering from early and severe traumatization if several specific criteria are met. These criteria are about conceptualization according to the model of structural dissociation, about indication, timing, and preparation of the EMDR-sessions, about adaptation of the EMDR-protocol and about integration of EMDR in the broader phase-oriented state-of-the-art treatment of DID. At the end there will be time for questions and discussion.

Learning Outcomes 1. How to integrate EMDR in the phase-oriented treatment of DID 2. Inspiration for finding creative solutions for the problems that can occur during the session (e.g. dissociation, reliving traumatic experiences, acting-out) 3. Witnessing the effect of EMDR 4. Encouraging collegue’s to indicate EMDR for complex trauma (under specific conditions).






Mariette Groenendijk

Original Work Citation

Groenendijk, M. (2010, April). EMDR in trauma-work with a patient with DID. Presentation at the 2nd Bi-Annual International European Society for Trauma and Dissociation Conference, Belfast, Northern Ireland



“EMDR in trauma-work with a patient with DID,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed June 15, 2021, https://emdria.omeka.net/items/show/19857.

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