A Community of Heart Profile: Graciela Rodriguez
Graciela Rodriguez is a dynamic, jubilant woman from Argentina. She is a physician and a psychiatrist and started her career as a psychoanalyst. She then branched out to learn Ericksonian Hypnosis, studying under Jeffrey Zeig.
She thinks of EMDR as “a miracle in my career.” Beginning in 1992, Graciela traveled to the United States many times to participate in the EMDR Institute’s trainings. Since then, she has worked tirelessly in public hospitals to bring what she has learned to the following patient populations: alcoholics, AIDS survivors, Dissociative Identity Disorders and victims of torture.
As her interest in EMDR deepened, she became a facilitator and then went on to become a trainer after studying with Francine Shapiro. She lived in Australia for 1-½ years, assisting in the continuation of the Institute training program after Gary Fulcher had to step down for medical reasons. She did trainings in Sydney and Melbourne and assisted in the building of the EMDR Association – Australia.
As a result of Graciela’s excitement and enthusiasm about EMDR, she pioneered the introduction of EMDR into many new countries: Malaysia, Nepal, Chile, Brazil, Argentina, Spain, Singapore, Mexico and Columbia. One of the most poignant trainings was working with refugees from Bhutan in Nepal through an organization that worked with torture victims.
It is, therefore, not a surprise that a subject close to Graciela’s heart concerns the exchange of cultural information and how that affects the teaching of EMDR. She is interested in addressing cultural differences for the cultures to which she introduces EMDR and, in Graciela’s words she is “in search of the best way to introduce EMDR in different cultures.” She found that her experience of using EMDR in Singapore and then in Nepal taught her many new things about culture. Her belief is that “EMDR is excellent because any person can use it, even in places like Nepal with Bhutanese refugees. It could be a common language all over the world!” She hosted a seminar on this subject at the 1998 EMDR International Association Conference and hopes to have this as a continuing presence at subsequent conferences. Also, she is experimenting with different teaching models to improve clinicians’ mastery of the course material and case implementation.
Now that Graciela has returned to Argentina to live, she continues to travel and teach in Latin America and Spain. She is a strong proponent of the multi-cultural perspective that characterizes the spirit of the EMDR International Association and supports this organization in its international scope. She will be starting a Spanish discussion list on the web and invites interested clinicians to contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.