This chapter aims to help clinicians learn stabilization interventions for use in the Preparation Phase of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) treatment. Using these interventions will aid clients in developing readiness for processing trauma, learning how to manage symptoms of dissociation, dealing with affect regulation, and developing the necessary internal cohesion and resources to utilize the EMDR trauma-processing phase. Earlier negative experiences stored dysfunctionally increase vulnerability to anxiety disorders, depression, and other diagnoses. When assessing a client with a complex trauma history, clinicians need to view current symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or depression as reflections of the earlier traumas. The chapter outlines the strategies dealing with dissociative symptoms, ego state work, and internal stability that help clinicians to develop an individualized treatment plan to successfully guide the client through the EMDR phases of treatment.
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- Go to chapter: Stabilization Phase of Trauma Treatment: Introducing and Accessing the Ego State System
- Go to chapter: ACT-AS-IF and ARCHITECTS Approaches to EMDR Treatment of Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID)
This chapter describes key steps, with scripts, for the phases of therapy with a dissociative identity disorder (DID) client, and for an eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) session with a DID client. In brief, the method employs the artful use of EMDR and ego state therapy for association and acceleration, and of hypnosis, imagery, and ego state therapy for distancing and deceleration within the context of a trusting therapeutic relationship. It is also endeavoring to stay close to the treatment guidelines as promulgated by the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation. The acronym ACT-AS-IF describes the phases of therapy; the acronym ARCHITECTS describes the steps in an EMDR intervention. Dual attention awareness is key in part because it keeps the ventral vagal nervous system engaged sufficiently to empower the client to sustain the painful processing of dorsal vagal states and sympathetic arousal states.
One way of thinking about procrastination is to regard it as a form of addiction; an addiction to putting things off. As with other addictive patterns, the client will choose a short-term gratification instead of going for a long-term result that might, in the end, be more satisfying or empowering. As with other addictions, a procrastinating client often suffers ongoing erosion of her self-esteem. Quite often, procrastination may function as a defense as a way to avoid other life issues that are disturbing. With this type of problem, we can use a variation of Popky’s addiction protocol, and the level of urge to avoid (LoUA) procedure. It is also important to use resource installation procedures to help the client develop an image of the benefits that would come with being free of this problem.
The important elements of the Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and Phantom Pain Research Protocol are client history taking and relationship building, targeting the trauma of the experience, and targeting the pain. This protocol is set up to follow the eight phases of the 11-Step Standard Procedure. This chapter presents a case series with phantom limb patients obtained a few before and after EMDR magnetoencephalograms (MEGs) at the University of Tübingen, Germany on arm amputees that show the presence of phantom limb pain (PLP) in the brain images before EMDR and the absence of it after EMDR. In these case series, it is found that PLP in leg amputations is much easier to treat than arm amputations, likely due to the much more extensive and complex arm and hand representation in the sensory-motor cortex compared to the leg and foot representation.
The “Image Director Technique” was developed to target recurring nightmares or bad dreams and those targets that are directly related to a traumatic experience. This technique is a special module that is embedded in the Standard Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Protocol. The technique begins with the worst image of the dream and then accesses and measures it as in Phase 3 of the Standard EMDR Protocol that includes the image, cognitions, emotions, and sensations. Clients are more likely to work with short clips or films if the subjective units of disturbance (SUD) of the target image is low. This technique can also be considered an imagery exposure method that is based in systematic desensitization, a behavioral approach. Often, clients prefer the tactile bilateral stimulation (BLS) because they can close their eyes in order to be visually undisturbed during the creation of the new images.
This chapter focuses on office automation and systems that are useful in the mental health field, along with principles to be aware of when considering the use or purchase of such systems. Most managers have to rely on input from outside in order to form an opinion about how to resolve complex issues. The complexity of the issue increases significantly when the current federal health care laws are incorporated into the task of choosing appropriate clinical information management software. The significance of Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) would seem to dictate at least a brief foray into its content because it lays the foundation for virtually everything that is happening in the clinical information management (CIM) realm. The information provided in the chapter can give a backdrop by which current practices can be examined for goodness of fit with the available client information management systems.
This chapter provides an overview of working with clients who present with more complex trauma. Many of the clients that come for Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) will have a history of complex trauma or a chaotic childhood. Clients who have experienced complex trauma may lack basic life skills or have missed out on developmental stages due to a chaotic childhood, for example, parents who were absent, neglectful, or abusive. Clients may not have been taught how to regulate their emotions in early childhood. They may present with impulsive, risk-taking, or suicidal behaviors. Before carrying out the desensitization phase of EMDR, individuals need to have an adequate level of resilience and be sufficiently resourced. Clients with Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) display at least two distinct and enduring “alters” or identity states that recurrently take control of their behavior.
This chapter focuses on the assessment phase and importance of negative cognitions (NCs) drawing heavily on illustrative case vignettes. Janoff-Bulman introduced the notion of an “Assumptive World Theory” to describe how individuals make assumptions about themselves and the world they live in. According to McCann and Pearlman’s Constructionist Self-Development Theory (CSDT), people give meaning to traumatic events depending on how, as individuals, they interpret them. Person-centered counseling refers to “self-concept” describing the individual’s self-image largely based on life experience and attitudes expressed by significant others, such as family, teachers, and friends. Therapists should familiarize the client at an early stage with the mechanics of DAS and allow them some control in choosing the technique to be used. In choosing the target memory, the therapist and client need to determine the touchstone event, that is, the earliest memory linked to the current pathology.
This chapter focuses on the desensitization phase during which the therapist processes the dysfunctional material. It explores a range of issues that are frequently raised in this phase, including therapist anxiety and abreactions and explores challenges during the desensitization phase, such as blocked processing and the use of cognitive interweaves. It is not only the client who gets anxious about the desensitization phase. It can be very daunting to the new EMDR practitioner. Performance anxiety can be a block for the therapist as well as for the client. The therapists’ role is distinct in this phase and involves supporting the client verbally with minimum intervention unless the client is stuck. They should help the client to focus on the flow of feelings, thoughts, and body sensations as they unfold. The therapist will observe the nonverbal signs, troughs and peaks of sensations, and will monitor the changes.
This chapter focuses on case studies of installation, body scan, closure, and reevaluation of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR). The installation phase is concerned with integrating the positive cognition (PC) with the targeted memory. The PC should be checked for ecological validity and rated on the validity of cognition (VOC) scale. Closure is important at the end of any therapy, and particularly so after EMDR desensitization. As such, it is important to allow sufficient time for closure, debriefing, safety assessment, and homework. As with any therapy, clients will sometimes find that something occurs that disrupts the therapeutic plan. Modeling, education on social skills, and testing out new behaviors will now be the focus of therapy. This may be an unexpected crisis, such as a relationship breakdown or being diagnosed with cancer, and clients will need support in making adjustments in their present life.