Internal family systems informed eye movement desensitization and reprocessing an integrative technique for treatment of complex posttraumatic stress disorder
Complex Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (C-PTSD) is a diagnostic entity included in the International Classifications of Diseases, 11th revision (ICD-11). It denotes a severe form of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and is the result of prolonged and repeated trauma. C-PTSD is associated with a broad spectrum of psychopathological symptoms and transcends the typical diagnostic criteria for PTSD. C-PTSD is conceptualized as including the core elements of PTSD, such as re-experiencing, avoidance, and hypervigilance, with the additional symptoms of poor affect regulation, negative self-concept, and difficulties in establishing and maintaining healthy interpersonal relationships. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and the Internal Family Systems (IFS) model share a common treatment approach, and their integration has been found to enhance the efficacy of both modalities in the treatment of complex trauma. This article explores IFS-informed EMDR (IFS-EMDR) for the treatment of C-PTSD. IFS-EMDR creates an integration of the contemporary practice of EMDR with the interweave of the IFS model for positive resourcing. This article will firstly provide an exploration of insecure attachment and relational trauma as diathetic factors to the development of C-PTSD. Subsequently, this article will review how trauma and the emergence of structural dissociation impact the development of the self through the lens of IFS. Finally, through the use of a composite case study, this paper will discuss the benefits of integrating IFS strategies and language into EMDR therapy, with particular attention to challenges and limitations.
Original Work Citation
Brown, G. O. (2020/2021, Fall/Winter). Internal family systems informed eye movement desensitization and reprocessing an integrative technique for treatment of complex posttraumatic stress disorder. International Body Psychotherapy Journal, 19(2)
“Internal family systems informed eye movement desensitization and reprocessing an integrative technique for treatment of complex posttraumatic stress disorder,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed April 18, 2021, https://emdria.omeka.net/items/show/26671.