EMDR therapy & ego states in the treatment of complex PTSD


Both methods are very helpful tools, the AIP model allows a wide variety of interventions which in less stable clients can be tailored to their needs. Ego-State Therapy (EST) and other parts models rely on very similar working mechanisms and can be used successfully in complex PTSD. The combination of both is even more helpful. I developed a processing model which helps clinicians to better conceptualize their more complex cases. It will be shown how the tools of EMDR and EST can be combined to regulate the impact of trauma resolving treatment. For example, access to resourceful ego-states is helpful when clients need more safety. Access to touchstone events is facilitated by ego-states as soon as clients can tolerate more stress. I will highlight the use of EST in EMDR’s 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 while processing. Participants will be able to better know the reason why an ego-state might appear during processing and what to do when this happens. They will also learn how to enhance the EMDR process, or resolve the blocking of processing, by the integration of (resourceful) ego-states. So the benefit of both approaches can be combined. EMDR therapists will be provided with first and easy EST interventions to work as well with resourceful as with fragile inner parts. A group exercise will be performed to get into touch with resourceful ego-states. Appropriate work sheets will be distributed.






Susanne Leutner

Original Work Citation

Leutner, S. (2017, March). EMDR therapy & ego states in the treatment of complex PTSD. Keynote (Maeve Crowley, Chair) presented at the 15th EMDR Association UK & Ireland Annual Conference & AGM, London, UK



“EMDR therapy & ego states in the treatment of complex PTSD,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed October 26, 2020, https://emdria.omeka.net/items/show/24308.

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