EMDR as a Special Form of Ego State Psychotherapy

Summary of EMDR as an Ego State Therapeutic Approach

The psychological aspects of all phases of the EMDR process can be understood from the ego state model perspective:

  1. Identify and amplify the problematic ego state.
  2. Facilitate associational linkages derived from the ego state infrastructure.
  3. Facilitate an ego state shift to a more adaptive ego state from the stuck, problematic ego state.
  4. Resolve overt or covert conflicts perpetuating an impasse by reducing the dissociative barriers between the conflicted ego states.

The most unique contribution of EMDR appears to be in its impact on the dissociative/associative process, as reflected in the following phenomena:

  1. Patients access previously dissociated memories.
  2. The affective power of previously overwhelming stimuli becomes diminished, presumably by integrating traumatized ego states with more resourceful and calming ego states.
  3. Isolated ego states with negative cognitions become integrated with ego states with more positive cognitions.

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