EMDR in the treatment of a young woman with dissociative disorder


This is an ongoing case of a woman in her 20s, diagnosed with dissociative disorder and associated with borderline features and somatization. EMDR as an intervention has played an important role for working with complex trauma. As a young child, the client was attached to the father. The father suddenly became absent for a while because of his illness, and she was left to the care of a mother who found it too difficult to cope, and an elder sister who considered her to be an equivalent of a doll, with no autonomy. Several small-traumas and signs of dissociation were present in early history. The adolescence was marked with many experiences of difficulties in relationships. After completing post-graduation, the pressures of work life became the precipitating factor for her seeking therapy. The psychotherapy, by mistake, initially focused on trauma. Valuable consultation, the body of literature in the field of diagnosing and working with complex trauma with EMDR, and peer support, that the therapist received, helped correct the course of the therapy. Especially, tools like MID and dissociative table, the mantra 'slow is fast' in therapy for complex trauma, approaching therapy with the understanding of early attachment patterns, wisdom from phase oriented as well as progressive approaches in using EMDR with dissociation, and consultation group support, were of tremendous help. From experiencing frequent emotional dysregulation and lapses in space-time orientation, the client has reached a place of higher internal cooperation, lesser triggering, and higher confidence in managing life, in her journey.







Original Work Citation

Adithy (2014, January). EMDR in the treatment of a young woman with dissociative disorder. In EMDR Case studies complex PTSD/dissociation (Dr. Jinsong, Chair). Presentation at the 2nd EMDR Asia International Conference, Manila, The Philippines.



“EMDR in the treatment of a young woman with dissociative disorder,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed October 20, 2021, https://emdria.omeka.net/items/show/22565.

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