Understanding and treating resistance in OCD through EMDR


A model of joint conceptualisation will invite the therapist to place a foot in the bizarre world of the person’s OCD with its complex, varied and highly emotive rules woven with dread, terror or disgust within its own cruel, internal, apparently hermetically sealed logic. It will conclude that no one method is a panacea and that the therapist using the highly integrative platform of EMDR theory would benefit from a multi-stringed flexible therapeutic bow.

Building on the work of Marr (2012) the workshop will explore interactively: using the EMDR protocol as an effective method for jointly formulating and achieving realistic agreed goals for the client; present different examples of cognitive interweaves and metaphors when resistance or “stuck points” occur, touching on themes such as differing types of thought action fusion, inflated responsibility, beliefs about controlling thoughts, perfectionism, intolerance of uncertainty, meta-memory, catastrophizing and attentional focus; offer the therapist tools to set aside individual world views and to seek to understand the particular meanings of awfulness and vulnerability for the person in the grip of OCD; using positive psychology and compassionate mind work to install in the client a sense of the authentic self while helping the person overcome a fear of change and to work with a sense of grief some may feel for lost opportunities.  Other therapists will hopefully contribute by sharing their own ideas and experiences.






Nick Crichton

Original Work Citation

Crichton, N. (2014, June). Understanding and treating resistance in OCD through EMDR. In EMDR research symposium (Derek Farrell, Chair). Symposium presented at the 15th EMDR Europe Association Conference, Edinburgh, Scotland



“Understanding and treating resistance in OCD through EMDR,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed August 11, 2020, https://emdria.omeka.net/items/show/22874.

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