EMDR & ego-state therapy: Networking whilst processing


The combination of EMDR and Ego-State-Therapy (EST) does not only provide helpful tools in clinical practice, but also the two theoretical frameworks have a lot in common:

- working with memory networks (EMDR) can be understood as working with a focus on different more or less isolated „parts of a personality“ (EST)
- linking of new associations into previously isolated memory networks (EMDR) can be seen as „facilitating attachment between ego-states“ (EST)
- there is also the mindful way of both approaches: following the patient‘s inner process, integrating positive memory templates (EMDR) „finding resourceful ego-states and integrating them into the inner family of selves“ (EST)
- particularily well with EMDR‘s AIP Model, and the assumption that memories are not extinguished but reconsolidated, fits the thinking of EST as it states that no ego-state can or should be made to disappear, but „everyone has come to help“
- in view of both methods the disturbance does not necessarily stem from trauma, but also from daily negative life events

We will highlight similarities of the most important principles in the core of the EMDR treatment, during all of the eight phases, showing case examples on videos, teaching how to develop a therapeutic sensitivity towards the appearance of ego-states in clients and how to integrate them during the eight phases, as well as performing group exercises to get into touch with resourceful ego-states.

Paricipants will be able to better know what to do when an ego-state appears, how to enhance the EMDR process, if necessary, by the integration of (resourceful) ego-states and to combine the benefit of both approaches. Appropriate work sheets will be distributed.






Susanne Leutner

Original Work Citation

Leutner, S. (2014, June). EMDR & ego-state therapy: Networking whilst processing. In EMDR clinical practice symposium (Bruna Maccarrone, Chair). Symposium presented at the 15th EMDR Europe Association Conference, Edinburgh, Scotland



“EMDR & ego-state therapy: Networking whilst processing,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed October 26, 2020, https://emdria.omeka.net/items/show/22953.

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