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Open Access Dissociation of the Personality and EMDR Therapy in Complex Trauma-Related Disorders: Applications in the Stabilization Phase

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Abstract:

As proposed in a previous article in this journal, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) clinicians treating clients with complex trauma-related disorders may benefit from knowing and applying the theory of structural dissociation of the personality (TSDP) and its accompanying psychology of action. TSDP postulates that dissociation of the personality is the main feature of traumatization and a wide range of trauma-related disorders from simple posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to dissociative identity disorder (DID). The theory may help EMDR therapists to develop a comprehensive map for understanding the problems of clients with complex trauma-related disorders and to formulate and carry out a treatment plan. The expert consensus model in complex trauma is phase-oriented treatment in which a stabilization and preparation phase precedes the treatment of traumatic memories. This article focuses on the initial stabilization and preparatory phase, which is very important to safely and effectively use EMDR in treating complex trauma. Central themes are (a) working with maladaptive beliefs, (b) overcoming dissociative phobias, and (c) an extended application of resourcing.

Keywords: DISSOCIATION; DISSOCIATIVE DISORDERS; EMDR; PHASE-ORIENTED TREATMENT; STABILIZATION PHASE; STRUCTURAL DISSOCIATION OF THE PERSONALITY

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1891/1933-3196.7.2.81

Publication date: May 1, 2013

More about this publication?
  • 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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