EMDR and treatment for problematic anger and violent behaviours


Overall, the psychotherapy field has missed, minimized or ignored the potency of social stigma and oppression as a primary or contributing traumatizing force. This workshop will help the EMDR clinician better understand the importance of social identity and culture, learn to spot the effects of internalized oppression, and strategically transform the impact of prejudice and discrimination. Content will include a culturally aware psycho-social history, expanded negative and positive cognitions, techniques for social identity resource enhancement, strategic target selection for desensitization and a protocol for dismantling prejudice.

Culturally influenced social identities are important dimensions of how people know themselves and experience meaning in the world. For some, their social identities, whether chosen or assigned by circumstances, have been a "reason" they have been the victim of episodic mistreatment or chronic discrimination.

Research supports common sense observations that stigmatized people report overall lower life satisfaction and widely documents the dynamics and impact of internalized oppression and prejudice. The many “isms” divide people, limit their human potential, and assault their fundamental human dignity in the larger world. Yet, clinicians often ignore these issues in trauma histories and case formulation. Reprocessing culturally connected traumatic events, large and subtle, leads to robust client gains as was supported in the research findings from 60 EMDR therapists who explored these issues in training practicums. The AIP model predicts the profound potential EMDR offers to be a leader in the field of individualized treatment for the impact of social discrimination. Key points will be illuminated with case examples and clinical video.






Mark Nickerson

Original Work Citation

Nickerson, M. (2014, June). EMDR and treatment for problematic anger and violent behaviours. In EMDR clinical practice symposium (Eva Zimmermann, Chair). Symposium presented at the 15th EMDR Europe Association Conference, Edinburgh, Scotland



“EMDR and treatment for problematic anger and violent behaviours,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed June 19, 2021, https://emdria.omeka.net/items/show/22954.

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