This article proposes a dialectical perspective on the adaptive information processing (AIP) model (F. Shapiro, 1995, 2001) with application to eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy. Dialectical principles may contribute to a more detailed understanding of the way the AIP system works as well as adding new therapeutic guidelines. Our dialectical perspective is based on 2 propositions. The first is that the movement of the AIP system toward integration consists of 2 dialectical movements: horizontal and vertical. The horizontal movement is between various opposites of the individual such as danger versus safety, dependence versus independence, worthlessness versus self-worth. The vertical movement relates to whole/part shifts in which a whole becomes a part of the next higher whole. The synergetic flow of both dialectical movements is depicted as a spiral of the AIP system. The second proposition suggests that the AIP system operates through cycles of differentiation and linking. These cycles separate the condensed and fragmented memory network into parts, enabling new links to occur. Differentiation and linking are also discussed in relation to dialectical attunement and mindful dual awareness. Using clinical vignettes, we illustrate how this perspective can supply the EMDR therapist a map of the client’s associative processing, enhance attuned therapeutic presence, and promote effective dialectical interweaves when processing is stuck.
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Copyright © 2017 EMDR International Association
Laub, B., Weiner, N., & Bender, S. S. (2017). A Dialectical Perspective on the Adaptive Information Processing Model and EMDR Therapy. Journal of EMDR Practice and Research, 11(2), 111–120. https://doi.org/10.1891/1933-3188.8.131.52
Journal of EMDR Practice and Research