EMDR in dissociative disorders: The progressive approach


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. Nevertheless EMDR is still considered by many clinicians as an intervention that is limited to the treatment of traumatic memories in highly functioning dissociative clients, after a long preparation phase. From this conceptualization the use of EMDR is strongly limited, and many trauma survivors cannot benefit of it.

In this workshop a comprehensive model for EMDR therapy in Dissociative Disorders (the Progressive Approach) will be proposed. From this extended framework, different interventions with EMDR in dissociative clients will be described, including procedures to prepare and stabilize these clients. The integration of these specific EMDR procedures into a group therapy for trauma survivors will be described. The interweaving between theoretical developments, clinical procedures and video examples will allow the audience to assimilate information and translate it to their clinical practice.

Learning objectives:
Propose a comprehensive model to approach dissociative clients from the EMDR perspective, connecting theoretical developments and clinical procedures; Identify difficult situations in EMDR therapy of severely traumatized people and describe EMDR procedures for dissociative clients, all along the different phases of treatment; Illustrate the “progressive approach” for the treatment of dissociative disorders with clinical examples and video fragments of individual and group sessions so EMDR therapists can understand when, where and how to apply these procedures in their clinical practice.






Anabel Gonzalez

Original Work Citation

Gonzalez, A. (2013, June). EMDR in dissociative disorders: The progressive approach. Presentation at the 14th EMDR Europe Association Conference, Geneva, Switzerland



“EMDR in dissociative disorders: The progressive approach,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed November 24, 2020, https://emdria.omeka.net/items/show/22035.

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