EMDR in dissociative disorders: The progressive approach


Abstract: After the first cautions for the use of EMDR in dissociative disorders, many proposals have been done to adapt EMDR procedures to this specific population. Interesting interventions have been done for the use of EMDR in the preparation phase, but in spite of these useful proposals, EMDR is still considered by many clinicians as an intervention that is limited for the treatment of traumatic memories. From this conceptualization, which we have called the all/nothing perspective, the use of EMDR is strongly limited. Many clinicians wait years for trauma reprocessing. As a consequence of this conceptualization, many EMDR therapists do not use EMDR with most of their dissociative clients, and just use it with highly functioning patients, sometimes after years of therapy with other approaches. In this workshop we will describe (and exemplify with clinical cases and videos) different interventions with EMDR in dissociative clients, from the preparatory phase, in what we have called a Progressive Approach. The way in which specific EMDR procedures can contribute to enhance recovery in survivors will be explained. For doing this, concepts from the different approaches and scientific knowledge about severe traumatization will be integrated with the Adaptive Information Processing Model from EMDR. The idea is to propose a holistic model for EMDR therapy in Dissociative Disorders. The interweaving between theoretical concepts and clinical procedures, theoretical developments and video examples, will allow the audience to assimilate information and translate it to their clinical practice. Therapist from approaches different from EMDR will understand what this therapy can offer to the treatment of severely traumatized people. EMDR therapists will learn new proposals of interventions at the different phases of the treatment. We will present different examples of interventions in severely traumatized patients: DID, DESNOS, BPD and Somatoform dissociation.






Anabel Gonzalez
Dolores Mosquera
Natalia Seijo

Original Work Citation

Gonzalez, A., Mosquera, D., & Seijo, N. (2011, November). EMDR in dissociative disorders: The progressive approach. Presentation at the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation 28th Annual International Conference, Montreal, QE



“EMDR in dissociative disorders: The progressive approach,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed October 24, 2020, https://emdria.omeka.net/items/show/21026.

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