Reaching clients hidden and struggling in conservative-religious communities & families


Introduction – This includes describing the psycho-dynamic factors in development that contributes to self gender identity. The factors include experiences of relationship with the same-sex (eg. boy to father, brothers, other boys); experiences with the opposite sex; view of self in relation to others; presence of sexual, emotional and moral abuse; making meaning from witnessing bad male-female relationships; etc. Educating the Social-family Systems – The presentation then explains the use of these information to educate the community leaders and members, to remove prejudice and misconceptions about SSA (Same Sex Attraction). The presentation explains how this psychoeducation is done to enable clients deeply hidden with SSA to feel safe enough to ask for help in private. Attending to the Client – A thorough inventory of the client’s psycho-dynamic history, including how the client remembers, experiences and makes meaning of them, is taken. The pertinent factors are not only many but also often contribute to other issues such as internalized low-self worth, depression, victimization, obsessive compulsions, etc. Objectives and application of EMDR are thus clarified accordingly. Helpful is recognizing which of the factors require attention and/or EMDR in a suitable sequence, always respecting the client’s choice and socio-family outlook. Helping the Social-family System to support the client – Besides the importance of education to change attitudes, some members may require parts work because EP intrusions, even though regarded as “normal disciplinary reactions”, can contribute to the client’s compulsion to live-up to expectations, which (unknowingly) disconnects them from healthy core emotions and their core identity.






Bryan Shen

Original Work Citation

Shen, B. (2020, January). Reaching clients hidden and struggling in conservative-religious communities & families. Presentation at the 4th EMDR Asia International Conference, Bangkok, Thailand



“Reaching clients hidden and struggling in conservative-religious communities & families,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed November 30, 2020,

Output Formats