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Open Access Adaptive Information Processing and a Systemic Biopsychosocial Model

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Shapiro's (2001) adaptive information processing (AIP) model portrays an innate healing system hypothesized to be composed of neurophysiological mechanisms of action causally related to the resolution of disturbing life experiences. The author expands the model to include psychosocial mechanisms and suggests that a model of a biopsychosocial system can best depict causal properties related to positive outcomes of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR). Teleofunctionalist and evolutionary perspectives are applied: the first, to explain the inclusion of the psychological and social features highlighted in the updated model; the second, to support the hypothesis that AIP is a goal of the human attachment system. It is posited that bonding, following a disturbing life experience, facilitates the access of information related to previous states, thus allowing an update of self/world models. These interactions are analogous to psychotherapeutic encounters, with multiple levels of information processing at subpersonal, personal, and interpersonal levels. Analysis of the causal properties of personal and interpersonal levels supports a broader understanding of AIP's scope in conceptualizing psychopathology and informing treatment applications and research.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2012-02-01

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  • The Journal of EMDR Practice and Research is a quarterly, peer-reviewed publication devoted to integrative, state-of-the-art papers about Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. It is a broadly conceived interdisciplinary journal that stimulates and communicates research and theory about EMDR, and their application to clinical practice.
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