Sandra Paulsen has written of the “ubiquity of dissociation” (2014) and also that “dissociation is the engine…not the caboose” of traumatic symptoms (emdrandbeyond.com/blog/2018/4/13/screening-for-did-and-more). If dissociation drives trauma symptoms, from simple to complex, and small-t to big-T, then EMDR practitioners should be prepared to treat dissociative processes in all clients. However, most training distinguishes between “standard” clients and “dissociative” clients. Dissociation treatment appears in the preparation phases of the EMDR protocol, which implies that dissociation need only be addressed if it interferes with reprocessing trauma, rather than considering dissociation as a focus of treatment. This presentation—by Sarah Dawson, MA, MSW—will discuss the benefits of using specific resourcing techniques from the dissociation and early childhood trauma literature with all clients. The techniques will be presented in the context of contemporary neurological theory, which provides a model for understanding how dissociative processes occur in standard clients. These processes are reversed through the associative nature of EMDR.
- Participants will be able to conceptualize standard client presentations in terms of dissociative processes via structural dissociation, affective circuits, and ego-states, as well as how to apply resourcing techniques usually reserved for dissociative clients in the general population.
- Participants will be able to describe how Ego-states form, contribute to dissociative processes, and how to associate them. Foundation in Panksepp’s neuroscientific conceptualization of emotional processes (via Paulsen and O’Shea, 2017)
- Participants will understand the benefits of using Fraser’s dissociative table, connected to the peaceful place in the “gathering place”, as well as a peaceful place house, to support ego-state work and treat dissociative processes in standard clients.
Sarah Dawson, MA, MSW
Sarah Reimer Dawson, MA, MSW, LISW, is a certified EMDR therapist in private practice in a small town. Prior to that she used EMDR in community mental health, and then moved to an EMDR based IOP. Perhaps because she completed an MA in philosophy before getting her MSW and beginning to work as a therapist, Sarah is extremely interested in theory. This presentation resulted from her ongoing attempts to underwrite with neuroscience and clinical research what she finds to be effective clinical practice, and to contribute to the evolution of EMDR education and training.
EMDR International Association
The presenter(s) retains control over the publishing and copyright of this presentation/course.
Dawson, S. (2021, November 13). Not Just Preparation: Resourcing for Dissociation as a Focus of Treatment [Online Course]. EMDR International Association. https://www.pathlms.com/emdria/courses/44229