Full Course Description

The Power of Attunement: Introduction to Relational EMDR

Program Information



The Formulation of EMDR – Initial Focus on Trauma

  • PTSD diagnosis – 1980, EMD developed – 1989
  • Changing paradigms of long term treatment
  • Subsequent generalization beyond specific trauma treatment
  • Memory networks and early developmental influences
Adaptive Information Processing Model
  • Maladaptive storing of negative experiences – related areas of confusion
    • Misattribution of responsibility
    • Absent sense of safety
    • Confusion related to power and control
Effect of Triggers Beneath Cognitive Levels of Processing – Limitations of Understanding and Coping
  • Transformative nature of EMDR on automatic responses
  • Mapping of emotional landscape – unpredictability of connections
Basic Elements of Developing EMDR Interventions
  • Review of trauma history, identifying related behaviors, clarifying connections
  • Identifying images, rating disturbance levels, defining positive outcome
  • Desensitization of memories and related sensations
  • Assess outcome, address remaining triggers
Relational EMDR
  • Integrating current interpersonal experience with effects of prior trauma
  • Restorative experience of emotions in the therapeutic interaction – corrective reprocessing
  • Use of therapeutic self beyond technical interventions – engaging client strengths
Overview of Four Upcoming Case Presentations – Process of Attunement, Individualizing Protocols


  1. Determine which symptoms are particularly responsive to improvement through EMDR interventions.
  2. Develop and implement basic EMDR interventions for intrusive memories of past experiences.
  3. Articulate methods of integrating Relational EMDR with traditional EMDR approaches to ameliorate the impact of pervasive attachment disruptions.

Copyright : 21/04/2018

Relational EMDR Approach to Working with Shame, Overwhelm and Clinical Impasse

Program Information



Mary Clinical Video Demonstration – Relational EMDR

  • Client in treatment for three years, has made progress but struggles with full engagement in treatment and reaching personal goals
Identifying and Addressing Treatment Impasse – Aligning with Client Goals
  • Assessment of client inner experience – true sense of self absent
  • Approaching relationship with therapist flexibility
  • Attunement to verbal and nonverbal interaction
The Work Before the Work
  • Assessing client capacity for work and willingness to change
  • Bringing therapist experience into shared relationship
Following the Connection and Finding the Memory
  • The experiential elements of the EMDR approach
  • Diverging from standard EMDR protocols
Making an Explicit Contract to Target Vulnerable Content
  • Setting benchmarks and goals
  • Following spontaneous linkages

Formal Processing – Emotional Shifts and Integration

  • Resolution from maladaptive to reality based self-perceptions
  • Combining EMDR, relational and imagery techniques


  1. Utilize clinical demonstration to inform relational EMDR case conceptualization for therapeutic impasse
  2. Determine the impact of personal history on barriers to treatment
  3. Implement experiential interventions to improve clinical outcome

Copyright : 11/05/2018

Using Relational EMDR to Address Anger, Trauma, and a Violent History

Program Information



Carlos Clinical Video Demonstration – Creating Connections Client in Treatment for Fears of Losing Control Client with History of Violence as Victim and Perpetrator

  • Now working to adapt – protect a more stable lifestyle and relationship with son
  • Facing aggressive triggers at work – seeking more effective coping abilities
Identifying and Addressing Treatment Impasse – Challenges of Rage
  • Assessment of client inner experience – making a safe connection, frequent checks
  • Approaching relationship with therapist attunement, normalizing affect
  • Particular attunement to nonverbal interaction
Threat or Safety Messages Are Often Nonverbally Communicated The Work Before the Work
  • Assessing client capacity for work and willingness to change
    • Identifying regret and remorse as elements of change
    • Reframing desire for control from control of others to control of self
    • Accurately perceiving client’s current abilities and motivations
  • Utilizing EMDR technology to improve therapist engagement
  • Addressing safety while processing powerful emotional content
Following the Connection and Finding the Memory
  • Identifying nodal memory – rape of cousin
  • Creating a contract to travel together into difficult content
  • Asking permission, checking client status, giving control
Formal Processing – Identifying and Clarifying Current Emotional Experience
  • Modifying standard protocols to enhance cognitive engagement
  • Attending to and releasing sadness
  • Following unexpected connections – utility of repeated checking for permission
Assessing Progress and Outcome – Checking the Work
  • Replacing maladaptive conclusions about self with adaptive conclusions
  • Replacing childhood perceptions of trauma with adult processing


  1. Utilize clinical demonstration to inform case conceptualization for client raised in high threat environment
  2. Determine the impact of vulnerability and rage on barriers to treatment
  3. Modify standard EMDR treatment protocols to improve client engagement

Copyright : 12/05/2018

Relational EMDR for Working with Shock Trauma, Depression, and Suicide Ideation

Program Information


Gloria Clinical Video Demonstration – Creating Supportive

Holding Environment

Client in Treatment for Repeated Severe Losses

Client with History of Losing Two Children to Suicide, Depressed and Suicidal Herself

  • History of childhood trauma and abuse, several hospitalizations for depression
Now Working to Find a Purpose to Live
  • Concern that image of daughter hanging may be an overwhelming memory/image
Identifying and Addressing Treatment Impasse – Challenges of Containment and Trust
  • Assessment of client inner experience – making a safe connection, frequent checks
  • Approaching relationship with decreased verbalizations, increased physical contact
The Work Before the Work
  • Assessing client capacity for work and willingness to change
    • Expanding perspective beyond personal for the work – family related goals
      • Taking control of process - breaking the generational cycle
      • Importance of therapist transparency and authenticity
    • Establishing a contract for the work

Formal Processing – Desensitization Intervention

  • Identifying initial reaction to traumatic event – failure to process
  • Easing client into the unprocessed moment
  • Engaging body as well as mind into the processing
  • Ongoing assessment of client tolerance – methods of providing increased support
  • Facilitating painful processing – utility of reassurance and repeated checking for permission
  • Managing and processing physical symptoms – making the implicit explicit

Carrying It Forward 

Finding Meaning in The Experience – Reframing the Pain 

Integrating the Experience – Understanding the Emotions, Finding Identity 

Developing A Vision for The Future 

Assessing Progress and Outcome – Checking the Work

  • Replacing childhood perceptions of trauma with adult processing


  1. Utilize clinical demonstration to develop intervention strategies for client facing multiple losses and treatment resistant depression
  2. Articulate methods for identifying purpose for client who has lost a sense of meaning
  3. Modify standard EMDR treatment protocols to integrate touch and physical contact into therapy

Copyright : 16/05/2018

Using Relational EMDR to Overcome Traumatic Stress

Program Information


Amy Clinical Video Demonstration – Turning Focus from Client to Therapist

  • Modifying approach to meet each client

Therapist Addressing Triggered Responses from Client in Treatment

  • Therapist in ongoing supervision – becoming stuck in the process
  • Triggers disrupting implementation of standard EMDR protocols
  • Symptoms of hypervigilance, uncertainty, past focus

Now working to identify personal blocks to the process

  • Concern that focus on client may be overlooking actual impediments to the work
  • Identifying historical antecedents to present circumstances
  • Importance of therapist being willing to undergo the same therapeutic experience as that being asked of the client.

Identifying and Addressing Treatment Impasse – Losing Focus and Efficacy

  • Client an over controlled, over functioning, repetitive individual
  • Allowing client increased responsibility and direction of the therapeutic process
  • Skipping steps in establishing collaboration

The Work Before the Work – Therapist Amy, “I Forgot Everything I Know”

  • Therapist as colleague and client – developing shared understanding for treatment
  • Assessing her capacity for work and willingness to change     
  • Following the connection – Therapist experiencing past-present collision
  • Finding the memory – Intrusive influence of personal history              
  • Establishing a contract for the work – alliance and permission
  • Identifying adaptive conclusion – defining successful outcome

Formal Processing – Clarifying Elements of Personal Trauma History

  • Identifying initial reaction to traumatic event – “I’m in this alone”
  • Clarifying encoding at the time of the event
  • Utility of technological EMDR supports
  • Managing and processing hopelessness and panic – moving to adult perspective
  • Employing cognitive interweaving intervention

Assessing Progress and Outcome – Checking the Work

  • Assessing congruence of belief and physical experience of memory
  • Addressing remaining cognitive dissonance to solidify therapeutic resolution
  • Identifying impact of responses on client work
  • Establishing a plan and goals for successful responses going forward

Second Generation EMDR – Application Beyond Symptom Relief

Review of Case Examples Presented – Trusting the Process


  • Utilize clinical demonstration to develop intervention strategies for therapist triggered and disrupted by client content.
  • Integrate therapist responses effectively into clinical treatment interventions
  • Articulate methods to apply EMDR treatment interventions to therapists as well as clients

Copyright : 25/05/2018

BONUS: The Many Faces of EMDR: Harnessing a Broad-Based Approach to Change

Program Information


Trauma Often Occurs in Childhood

     Personal Experiences

     Developmental Trauma

     Capacities to Resolve Trauma are Overwhelmed

     Dissociative Processes

Complex trauma

      Affect Dysregulation

      Self Esteem

      Difficulty in Relationships

      Conclusions about the Self

      Shifting the Way a Memory is Stored

Images of A Parent’s Denial of Trauma Stored in Brain

      Inadequately Processed

      Easily Triggered

      Lack of Connection Between Information and Feelings

      Emotional Hijack

EMDR As Integrative Therapy

       Clinical Research

       Present is Informed by the Past

       State Specific Emotions

       Adaptive Information Processing System in Brain

       Orienting Response

       REM Activity

       Brain Processes in Present Time while Reflecting on Negative Experience

       Use of Dual Awareness Increases Capacity to Feel More Stable

       Creating Appropriate Responses and Exploring Personal Capacities

       Focus of Present Experiences and Changing These


  1. Determine the implications of nodal experiences as they relate to shaping clients’ current symptoms.
  2. Analyze clinical strategies to identify predominant themes in clients’ lives that underlie their current symptomology.
  3. Integrate the adaptive information-processing model of EMDR with other therapeutic interventions used within a clinical setting.

Copyright : 26/03/2017

BONUS: Mastering the Craft of Treating Trauma: Four Core Skills

Program Information


  1. Manage the clinical demands of working with developmental trauma using the core clinical skills.
  2. Develop the clinical implications of trauma as they manifest in the consulting room and in the client’s life.
  3. Analyze the history of client’s significant attachments as it relates to case conceptualization.
  4. Analyze the efficacy of the four core clinician skills in relation to assessment and treatment planning.


  • Working Definition of Trauma
    • Trauma Memory
    • Triggers
  • Identifying and working with the by-products of trauma as they manifest in the consulting room and the client’s life.
  • Evaluate client readiness and motivation for desired change
  • Evaluate client skills necessary for effective trauma treatment
  • Explore history of significant attachments
  • Navigate the unique clinical demands of working with developmental trauma
    • Core Clinical Skills

Copyright : 24/03/2018

BONUS: Advances in Trauma Treatment Today Expert Panel

This Forum will offer fresh perspectives on how our basic understanding of trauma has developed since PTSD first became accepted as official diagnosis 30 years ago. Each presenter offers a 20-minute presentation in the compelling TED Talk style followed by the opportunity for further exchange and exploration with the audience.

  • What Really Works in Trauma Therapy: Searching for Commonalities among the Acronym Therapies:Donald Meichenbaum, PhD
  • Whatever Happened to Family Therapy?: Recovering Our Systemic View of Trauma: Mary Jo Barrett, MSW
  • Treating Multiply Traumatized Youth: An Evidence-Based Approach to an Overlooked Treatment Population:John Briere, PhD
  • Addictions and Trauma:Addictions as both the Problem . . . and the Solution:Janina Fisher, PhD

Program Information


  1. Analyze the clinical implications of complex trauma in youth.
  2. Articulate strategies for clients struggling with addictions to improve treatment outcomes.


  • Introduction to trauma panel and "flash forum" structure
  • Expert 20-minute panelist presentations
  • Audience pairing up and discussing of panel topics
  • Panelist answering of audience questions

Copyright : 21/03/2014