The systemic EMDR approach: Healing the couple


Combining Mony Elkaim's Reciprocal Double Bind Systemic Model with the EMDR Adaptive Information Processing (AIP) model is a new perspective for couple therapy. This combination of approaches can be used to develop an EMDR treatment plan that incorporates and respects the relational systems, e.g., spouses and intimate partners, parent/child, employer/employee. In this presentation, participants will learn how and when it is appropriate to work with the one member of a couple as a co-therapist; how individual safe places can be applied to develop a safe place for the couple, both during the session and at home; how to develop a systemic EMDR targeting plan, guided by the understanding of the Reciprocal Double Bind, and finally, how to apply the 8 phases EMDR protocol to couple work, based on a Systemic Model.

Learning objectives:
1.  Evaluate when to use EMDR in couple therapy session
2.  Be able to do the installation of EMDR safe place as a resource for the couple
3.  Understand how to use the systemic model, reciprocal double bind, to find the individual targets that are involved in the couple’s current issues and presenting problems.
4.  Learn to apply the specifications of each of the 8 phases EMDR pr otocol with a couple.






Isabelle Meignant

Original Work Citation

Meignant, I. (2012, April). The systemic EMDR approach: Healing the couple. Presentation at the EMDR Canada Annual Conference, Montreal, QC



“The systemic EMDR approach: Healing the couple,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed September 25, 2020,

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