EMDR Therapy and Somatic Psychology: Interventions to Enhance Embodiment in Trauma Treatment

EMDR Therapy and Somatic Psychology: Interventions to Enhance Embodiment in Trauma Treatment

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A guide to help EMDR practitioners to integrate somatic therapy into their sessions.

Clients who have experienced traumatic events and seek EMDR therapists rely on them as guides through their most vulnerable moments. Trauma leaves an imprint on the body, and if clinicians don't know how to stay embodied in the midst of these powerful relational moments, they risk shutting down with their clients or becoming overwhelmed by the process. If the body is not integrated into EMDR therapy, full and effective trauma treatment is unlikely.

This book offers an integrative model of treatment that teaches therapists how to increase the client's capacity to sense and feel the body, helps the client work through traumatic memories in a safe and regulated manner, and facilitates lasting integration.

Part I (foundational concepts) offers a broad discussion of theory and science related to trauma treatment. Readers will be introduced to essential components of EMDR therapy and somatic psychology. The discussion then deepens into the science of embodiment through the lens of research on emotion, memory, attachment, interpersonal neurobiology, and the impact of trauma on overall health. This part of the book emphasizes the principles of successful trauma treatment as phase-oriented, mindfulness-based, noninterpretive, experiential, relational, regulation focused, and resilience-informed.

Part II (interventions) presents advanced scripted protocols that can be integrated into the eight phases of EMDR therapy. These interventions provide support for therapists and clients who want to build somatic awareness through experiential explorations that incorporate mindfulness of sensations, movement impulses, breath, and boundaries.

Other topics discussed include a focus on complex PTSD and attachment trauma, which addresses topics such as working with preverbal memories, identifying ego states, and regulating dissociation; chronic pain or illness; and culturally-based traumatic events. Also included is a focused model of embodied self-care to prevent compassion fatigue and burnout.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393713114
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 08/07/2018
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 1,066,132
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Arielle Schwartz, PhD, is a licensed clinical psychologist, EMDR therapy consultant, author, and certified yoga instructor with a private practice in Boulder, Colorado. She earned her masters in somatic psychology through Naropa University and her doctorate in clinical psychology at Fielding Graduate University. Her strength-based approach to psychotherapy is called Resilience Informed Therapy, which integrates a mind-body approach to healing and is the foundation of her workbook, The Complex PTSD Workbook. She is a core teacher with the Maiberger Institute, offering advanced workshops in EMDR therapy and somatic psychology. She specializes in treating Complex PTSD, grief and loss, therapeutic yoga, and healing chronic pain and illness. She believes all people deserve to be empowered by knowledge and is dedicated to offering informational mental health and wellness updates through her heartfelt presentations, social media presence, and blog.
Barb Maiberger is an author and EMDR trainer specializing in somatic therapies in Boulder, Colorado.
Robin Shapiro, MSW, LICSW, the editor of two EMDR Solutions books and The Trauma Treatment Handbook, is in private practice in Seattle. She is known for her informative, user-friendly workshops, insightful clinical consultation, and her popular blog Trauma&Attachment Therapy. She is proud to serve on the board of the EMDR Humanitarian Assistance Program.

Table of Contents

Foreword xi

Acknowledgments xv

Preface xix

List of Interventions xxv

Part 1 Foundational Concepts

Chapter 1 Embodiment in Trauma Treatment 5

EMDR Therapy

Somatic Psychology

Chapter 2 The Science of Embodiment 18

Embodiment and Embodied Awareness

Somatic Intelligence

The Neurobiology of Stress and Trauma

The Neurobiology of Attachment

Embodiment and Interpersonal Neurobiology

The Impact of Trauma on Health

The Neurobiology of Memory and Dissociation

Neural Networks and the Treatment of Trauma

Chapter 3 The Seven Principles of EMDR Therapy and Somatic Psychology for Trauma Treatment 56

Principle 1 Phase Oriented

Principle 2 Mindfulness Based

Principle 3 Non-Interpretive

Principle 4 Experiential

Principle 5 Relational

Principle 6 Regulation Focused

Principle 7 Resilience Informed

Part 2 The Interventions

Chapter 4 Interventions to Enhance Embodiment in Trauma Treatment 71

Somatic Vocabulary

Therapist Observational Skills

Increase Body Awareness

Proximity Awareness

Containment of Somatic Distress


Breath Awareness

Boundaries and the Body

Building Affect and Sensation Tolerance

Pendulation Between Distress and Resource State

Postural Awareness

Sensation-Based Inquiry for Target Development

Body Mapping

Tell a Story Without Words

Habitual Stress Response

Target Development From a Body Sensation

Sequencing and Somatic Repatterning During Desensitization

Somatic Interweaves for Stuck Processing

Pendulation Between Internal and External Awareness

Embodiment and Integration

Chapter 5 Complex PTSD and Attachment Trauma 145

Symptoms of C-PTSD and Attachment Trauma

History Taking for C-PTSD and Attachment Trauma

Working With Shame

Ego States and Parts Work

Core Negative Cognitions and Identity

Target Development for C-PTSD and Attachment Trauma

Psychobiological Regulation During Desensitization

Installation Phase for C-PTSD and Attachment Trauma

Integration and Revaluation for C-PTSD and Attachment Trauma

Chapter 6 Chronic Pain and Illness 207


Chronic Pain, and Chronic Illness

History Taking for Chronic Pain and Illness

Preparation Phase and Resource Development for Chronic Pain and Illness

Yoga in EMDR Therapy

Focusing and Listening to Pain

Assessment Phase and Target Development for Chronic Pain and Illness

Negative Cognitions Related to Chronic Pain and Illness

Secondary Gains and Losses

Order of Targets Related to Chronic Pain and Illness

Desensitization Phase for Chronic Pain and Illness

Parts Work for Chronic Pain and Illness


Integration, and Reevaluation for Chronic Pain and Illness

Chapter 7 A Cultural Context 258

Cultural Competence in Psychotherapy

Embodied Culture

Nonverbal Communications in a Cultural Context

History Taking in an Embodied Cultural Context

Preparation in an Embodied Cultural Context

Target Development in an Embodied Cultural Context

Installation, Integration, and Reevaluation in an Embodied Cultural Context

Chapter 8 Tools for Therapist Self-Care 293

The Burnout Continuum

Risk Factors of the Burnout Continuum

Signs and Symptoms of the Burnout Continuum

Embodied Self-Care Before a Session

Embodied Self-Care During a Session

Embodied Self-Care After a Session

Summary of Resources 319

References 321

Index 341

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