EMDR as a Special Form of Ego State Psychotherapy

Ego State Psychotherapy

The major principles of ego state psychotherapy derive directly from the above formulation of psychopathology. First, it is essential to undo the maladaptive dissociation in order to achieve optimal permeability and fluidity. Second, it is important to promote a cooperative, collaborative attitude among the ego states, rather than a competitive, polarized posture, thereby moving the system toward “consensual democracy,” with all parts having a say and none dominating autocratically.

When these goals are achieved, the psychological system is “integrated,” meaning there is optimal interconnectedness among the ego states, and any ego state can easily access any other ego state that might be of use in a given moment. Integration does not imply fusion or merging of ego states. The biologically based ego state infrastructure developed initially still persists, even in an integrated personality. But ego state therapy diminishes the dissociative barriers within and among the ego states and develops new biological linkages among the ego states, so that one ego state can access the other ego states more readily and spontaneously. It is as if the dissociative barriers previously separating the various ego states were removed and replaced by new “highways” or “communication wires” so that ego states have the potential of being interconnected at any time, even though these connections may be temporarily switched off.

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