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.
- Go to chapter: A Developmentally Grounded and Integrative Clinical Approach for Treating Complex Trauma and Dissociative Disorders in Children
A Developmentally Grounded and Integrative Clinical Approach for Treating Complex Trauma and Dissociative Disorders in Children
Children are exposed to distress, violence, and trauma even before they are born. In-utero and early childhood exposure can contribute to severe medical and psychological consequences. Children who have been exposed to such traumatic events often arrive at the psychotherapist’s office with emotional and behavioral symptoms suggestive of reactive attachment disorder (RAD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and dissociation. This chapter reviews relevant theories of dissociation integrated with theories of development to provide a summary of how attachment impacts dissociation. With a developmentally grounded theory of dissociation, the chapter describes clinical interventions for treating the dissociative sequelae of attachment trauma in children. This theoretical framework offers a developmentally grounded and integrative framework for working with children with complex trauma and dissociation. Symptoms of dissociation are common with PTSD, but an extreme response to trauma can be dissociation and dissociative disorders.
This chapter describes maneuvers to access the internal system of the patient as well as means to accelerate or decelerate the work in that process of accessing the self-system. Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), ego state therapy, and somatic therapy fit together like hand and glove. An extended preparation phase is often necessary before trauma processing in complex traumatic stress presentations and attachment-related syndromes, particularly when dealing with the sequelae of chronic early trauma. Clinical practice suggests that the adjunctive use of body therapy and ego state interventions can be useful, during stabilization and later on in increasing the treatment response to EMDR. Traditional treatment of complex posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and dissociative disorders has usually included hypnoanalytic interventions, during which abreaction is considered an important part of treatment.
This chapter presents several strategies, analogies, and metaphors to address dissociation from different angles and perspectives. Clinicians will have a wide range of methods of introducing and explaining dissociation to children. Analogies and stories that help children understand the multiplicity of the self may be presented during the preparation phase of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy. A good way of introducing the concept of dissociation is by using the dissociation kit for kids. Stimulating interoceptive awareness is a fundamental aspect of the work needed during the preparation phase of EMDR therapy with dissociative children. Visceral, proprioceptive, as well as kinesthetic-muscle awareness should be stimulated. The installation of present resolution (IPR) was inspired by an exercise developed by Steele and Raider. In this exercise, the child is asked to draw a picture of the past traumatic event followed by a picture of the child in the present.
This chapter focuses on identifying and working with dissociative symptoms and dissociative disorders in a therapeutic context, providing a road map to assist with the pacing and planning of clinical interventions. Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep can be conceptualized as a household strength processor that can accommodate the usual processing requirements of daily life. Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has been historically defined as requiring a trauma that is outside the range of normal human experience. Hypoarousal and parasympathetic activation that are an intrinsic part of dissociative symptoms are much more difficult to assess. The original painful memories live on in flashbacks and nightmares as well as in reenactments of the unconscious dynamics captured from the family of origin’s enactments of perpetration, victimization, rescuing, and neglect. Excessive sympathetic nervous system activation is easily construed to be an indicator of psychopathology.
International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation (ISSTD)’s professional training institute offers comprehensive courses on childhood dissociation that are taught internationally and online. This chapter briefly cites some of the theories that have emerged in the dissociative field. One system, the apparently normal personality (ANP) enables an individual to perform necessary functions, such as work. The emotional personality (EP) is action system fixated at the time of the trauma to defend from threats. As with the Adaptive Information Processing Model (AIP) in eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), each phase brings reassessment of the client’s ability to move forward to effectively process trauma. There are many overlapping symptoms with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) and dissociation that often mask the dissociation. The rate of diagnosis of pediatric bipolar disorder has increased 40 times in the last ten years.
This book was conceived out of the authors' shared vision to synthesize key neurobiological developments with effective developments in clinical practice to offer both understanding and practical guidance for the many practitioners working to heal people burdened with traumatic sequelae. It is unique in bringing in all levels of the brain from the brainstem, through the thalamus and basal ganglia, to the limbic structures, including the older forms of cortex, to the neocortex. The book looks at the neurochemistry of peritraumatic dissociation (PD) and explores the effects on neuroplasticity and the eventual structural dissociation. Individual chapters focus on the definition of PD and tonic immobility (TI) and their associations with posttraumatic psychopathology, and review disturbances in self-referential processing and social cognition in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) related to early-life trauma. Separate chapters focus on the modulatory role of the neuropetides in attachment as well as autonomic regulation, and highlight mesolimbic dopamine (ML-DA) system as central to the experiences of affiliation, attachment urge when under threat, attachment urge during experience of safety, and to the distress of isolation and/or submission. The book while increasing awareness of different parts of the self and ultimately creating a more stable sense of self, also incorporates psychoanalytic, cognitive behavioral, and hypnotic methods, as well as specific ego state, somatic/sensorimotor therapies, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), and variations of EMDR suitable for working with trauma in the attachment period. The latter methods are explicitly information-processing methods that address affective and somatic modes of processing.
This chapter focuses on educational purposes for the promotion of research. It helps the practitioners to study the available evidence and use professional discretion in their prescribing decisions, being fully aware of known potential risks as well as benefits. The literature describes the use of opioid antagonists in a number of different disorders, some of them traumatic stress and attachment-related disorders, as well as dissociative disorders. Self-injurious behavior is common in the more severe traumatic stress syndromes. It also happens to be one of the diagnostic criteria of borderline personality disorder (BPD), a diagnosis that has been associated with childhood abuse and attachment conflicts. Pathological gambling is thought to provide rewards through endogenous opioid effects on the mesolimbic dopamine system. Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain disorder that is thought to result from the type of autonomic system dysfunction to which traumatic stress disposes.
This chapter highlights mesolimbic dopamine (ML-DA) system as central to the experiences of affiliation, attachment urge when under threat, attachment urge during experience of safety, and to the distress of isolation and/or submission. As the midbrain defense centers hold the capacity for stress-induced analgesia (SIA), the tendency to dissociation, which is established with disorganized attachment in very early life, is considered to be secondary to modifications of their sensitivity. Trauma survivors have a default setting that keeps them in threat mode, whether triggered easily by memories of physical danger or separation distress. In a secure attachment relationship, the child can learn the rewards of interaction without threat. The frozen indecision is replaced by a disconnection from the experience of the moment, which relieves the distress. Environmental stress alters the nursing behavior of the mother rat so that she ceases to do so much licking/grooming.