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EMDR, Adaptive Information Processing, and Case Conceptualization

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Abstract

EMDR is an integrative, client-centered psychotherapy approach that emphasizes the brain’s information processing system and memories of disturbing experiences as the bases of those pathologies not caused by organic deficit or insult. EMDR addresses the experiences that contribute to clinical conditions and those needed to bring the client to a robust state of psychological health. Overviews of the history, development, and research that have established EMDR as an empirically supported treatment are provided. Subsequent to an explanation of the adaptive information processing model, an extended case example is used to illustrate the recommended EMDR case conceptualization and eight phases of treatment. This approach is used to process the early memories that set the foundation for the pathology and the present situations that trigger the dysfunction, while providing templates for appropriate future action that incorporate the information and behaviors needed to overcome skill and/or developmental deficits. The benefits of integrating EMDR and family systems perspectives to provide the most comprehensive therapeutic effects are described.

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