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Watch the video, filmed in the hills above Bologna, Italy, to find out why you might be getting ‚Äústuck‚ÄĚ in reprocessing phases and what to do for better results! Bill and I enjoyed recapping some of the highlights of the EMDR Europe Conference and adding a bit of levity to the very serious topic of trauma therapy.

This year’s EMDR Europe Conference was focused mainly on emerging research that validates EMDR’s efficacy. A notable exception was a presentation by Anabel Gonzalez, MD, Phd., of the University Hospital of Coruna, Spain. Dr. Gonzalez-Vasquez has made significant contributions to our shared body of knowledge in the field of EMDR Therapy; most notably publishing and presenting her insights into working with more complex clinical presentations, such as personality disorders, psychosis, and dissociation.

Dr. Gonzalez’ presentation was called EMDR and emotional processing: Working with emotionally disconnected patients. It laid out thorough index of indicators that processing is either on track or not moving forward toward integration due to clients’ difficulties recognizing, understanding, and being able to regulate/tolerate emotions. The solution, per Dr. Gonzalez, is to spending adequate time in successive Preparation Phase sessions. Phase 2 would include helping clients:

  1. Understand the purpose and value of emotions
  2. Learn to untangle which emotions they are feeling rather than becoming confused, overwhelmed, or shut-down
  3. Identify what caused or triggered the emotion(s);
  4. Move into an action stage that includes  recognizing resources and implementing appropriate emotional regulation strategies. Many emotionally disconnected patients have attachment trauma that has led to difficulty accessing healthy intra-and interpersonal resources.

If you work with complex cases or find yourself wondering how to move into trauma treatment with clients who don’t fit the mold of EMDR’s Standard Protocol, you might want to dive deeper into Dr. Gonzalez’ work.

Together with Dolores Mosquera, Ana is the author of EMDR and Dissociation: The Progressive Approach

Gonzalez and other researchers went on to produce a case-controlled study on the Progressive Approach, comparing EMDR Therapy to treatment as usual in working with a group of  severely traumatized patients. Among the findings:

In pre-post comparison, more variables presented positive changes in the group including EMDR procedures. In the TAU+EMDR group, 4 of the 5 measured variables presented significant and positive changes: general health (GHQ), general satisfaction (Schwartz), subjective well-being, and therapy session usefulness assessment. On the contrary, only 2 of the 5 variables in the TAU group showed statistically significant changes…

Connect’s Reg Morrow Robinson and Bill Brislin run an annual 10-month course, Master Class for Complex Trauma, based on the Progressive Approach.

They are currently accepting registrations for a similar 10-month series, Foundations in Complex Trauma and Dissociation, that will help clinicians understand and incorporate foundational strategies for gaining traction and fostering healing with more complex cases.

Want a preview? You can watch  Reg and Bill  discuss highlights from the book on in interview on the Art and Science of EMDR platform  here.