The healing of relational trauma - EMDR case study of dissociation


The purpose of the study was to explore the applicability and efficacy of EMDR with relational trauma and dissociation. Subjects were two clients who shows signs of dissociative part, having compulsive behavior and sudden shift of emotion, behavior and attitude. It’s a multiple case study expanding the current study of EMDR through the use of qualitative approach. The treatment was administered by an EMDR therapist following the adaptive EMDR standard protocol. Description of the life story, related treatment procedures and changes were analyzed from clinical records, observer’s records, interview of the clients, and the documents provided by the clients during and after the treatment. The treatment effect was analyzed by 6 dimensions of Complex trauma provided by Luxenberg, Spinazzola and Van der Kolk(2001). The results show the impact of significant improvement on the clients, such as the integration of dissociative parts, the decreasing of emotional and compulsive behaviors, the disappearance of the disturbance, the self-concept turned more positive from negative, more easily to sooth themselves when feeling frustrated, more energy to release from the overwhelming past experience, standing firmer toward future life, and getting along well with other. Results maintained after 6 months follow-up. Based on the results and discussions, further clinical and academic suggestions are proposed.






Yu-an Lu

Original Work Citation

Lu, Y., (2017, April). The healing of relational trauma - EMDR case study of dissociation. In EMDR & illness/medical issues/somatisation /chronic pain/cancer (Derek Farrell, Chair). Presentation at the 3rd EMDR Asia International Conference, Shanghai, China



“The healing of relational trauma - EMDR case study of dissociation,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed October 23, 2020,

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