A dialectical perspective in EMDR therapy


In this workshop the dialectical perspective in trauma processing (Laub & Weiner, 2007, 2014) is discussed theoretically and its clinical application shown in video demonstrations of EMDR therapy. Differentiation and linking are viewed as major components of the integrative movement. They are discussed in relation to three basic interacting systems in trauma processing: the therapeutic relationship, Mindful Dual Awareness (MDA) and the AIP system. It is suggested that the AIP system consists of two dialectical movements: a horizontal and a vertical one. The horizontal one oscillates between opposites such as threat vs. safety, dependence vs. independence, etc. The vertical one moves downwards (fragmentation) or upward (integration) in a whole/part hierarchy (sensorimotor, emotional, cognitive, spiritual). The synergy of these two movements is conceived as a spiral. It is suggested that the development of MDA during adaptive processing also moves through a whole/part hierarchy: Openness (sensorimotor), Curiosity (emotional), Acceptance (cognitive) and Love (spiritual).

The dialectical perspective provides the EMDR therapist with a map of the client’s associative processing and guidelines for attuned therapeutic interventions which facilitate the dialectical/integrative movement in the three basic systems.






Burit Laub

Original Work Citation

Laub, B. (2014, June). A dialectical perspective in EMDR therapy. In EMDR clinical practice symposium (Ludwig Cornil, Chair). Symposium presented at the 15th EMDR Europe Association Conference, Edinburgh, Scotland



“A dialectical perspective in EMDR therapy,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed September 23, 2021, https://emdria.omeka.net/items/show/22905.

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