Supervision, EMDR and ego state therapy


The aim of this paper is to illustrate a self-reparation model within the framework of a supervision conducted my me. a therapy plan was defined for my colleague whose patent’s traumatic experience brought to light her own unresolved traumatic material. This innovative approach is not limited to the parallel therapy involving both patient and therapist, but is an intervention model. a syncletic approach integrating the standard EMDR protocol and other contributions: the attachment theory. Freud's and Bion's 'dream-work', A, van der Kolk's and 0,van der Hart's dissociative disorders treatment, Forgash's and Knipe's Ego States Therapy, A. Shore's affection regulation and self-repair therapy, Eigen's vision of damaged bonds. Maternal abandonment was the common traumatic event. The patient's mother abandoned him at birth in hospital, where he remained for a year before being institutionalized and then adopted. My colleague was abandoned by her mother when she was one year old. The transition from supervision to EMDR was facilitated by the vast dream material produced by my colleague; her dreams represented targets for EMDR. According to Eigen, dream-work addresses the damage inflicted on the self, thus the traumas experienced, and plays a major role in digesting the impact of events and in metabolizing emotions: through the dreams we try to make the indigestible digestible. Dream-work constantly reveals states of the self: dreams evolve within damaged bonds and express the psyche's attempts to undo the damage or to get the best from it. EMDR shares the same objectives and tools same as dreams. At an operational level, EMDR made it possible to analyze the dream material and to integrate the dissociated dream material related to the traumatic, catastrophic abandonment induced damage. The Ego States Therapy allowed my colleague to talk with her dissociated Ego States, to negotiate with the States a higher behavioural model, and to free her Ego States held hostage by others. At the end of this journey, a dream expresses Ego States integration. Work on the future using EMDR is concluded with these thoughts "I want to thank you because the supervision, albeit not therapy, was an important experience that opened up a new space for me: the space of perspective. The beam of light crossing the two sheaves in the dream gives a meaning to the supervision, supervision has created a third dimension in me: the dream within the dream. It is the vehicle, the skill to perceive this dialogue space, intersubjective and intrasubjective, where things change. It alleviates the feeling of being impotent. The dialectical position enables me to speak. I am very grateful for that." My colleague's dreams were incorporated in a dream network and indicate the phases of EMDR induced mental digestion. My colleague has rebuilt herself in a supervision scenario. This study demonstrates the effectiveness of EMDR in hitherto unthought-of areas, i.e., within the framework of supervision.






Carmela A. Gambuzza

Original Work Citation

Gambuzza, C. A. (2010, June). Supervision, EMDR and ego state therapy. Poster presented at the 11th EMDR Europe Association Conference, Hamburg, Germany



“Supervision, EMDR and ego state therapy,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed October 20, 2021,

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