Attachment disorders, chronic stressful, traumatizing experiences can create dissociative tendencies in the psychic structure. The dissociative spectrum ranges from deep structural dissociation to subtle forms of dissociation like Ego States. My experience as a therapist and consultant for EMDR has shown me that successful reprocessing in these cases depends substantially upon successful ego state interaction and affectively meaningful choice of cognitions in Phase 3 of standard protocol. Defining “good” cognitions can be a significant obstacle (due to activated dissociative states). This can lead to blockade early in Phase 3 and/or the avoidance of using EMDR. The EMDR Dialogue Protocol was developed to facilitate the work with ego states while reprocessing complex issues of attachment disorders and complex trauma at the same time. The workshop will discuss the dissociative /ego state - dynamics behind the difficulties with cognitions and give a short theoretical background. Main focus will be on the procedure of the Dialogue Protocol, which will be discussed in detail and with case examples. Suggestions for the work with cognitions will be provided as well as cognitive interweave enhancing ego state work during reprocessing. Papers on subject: Journal of EMDR Practice and Research, Vol 5, Nr 3, 2011; EMDR Rundbrief No 19 -/2009 in German.
In 1980 I received my degree in psychology from the University of Applied Psychological Sciences in Zürich, Switzerland. After training in psychoanalysis I added extensive trainings in structural dissociation, the treatment of complex traumatic disorders & EMDR. Since 1982 I work as psychotherapist in private practice, since 2005 as supervisor for EMDR.
For many years, my focus of interest in psychotraumatology is on attachment disorders with neglect, violence and abuse resulting in more or less subtle dissociative states. To facilitate EMDR reprocessing in these cases, I developed and published the EMDR Dialogue protocol which will be presented at this conference.